You guessed it. Another morning of climbing to rise up from the sea. On the outskirts of Chiavari I came across a church, not a particularly extraordinary occurrence, but one which had frescos (I’m not sure if they were really painted on wet plaster surfaces) adorning all the ceilings, a second alter below the main one, above which was a giant dome. I dropped my pack, lit a candle for all those people who are suffering in this world, as sat in quiet contemplation for a few minutes. It occurred to me as I set off to walk that although Italy is recognised as a Catholic/Christian country, I’ve not yet seen a mosque or a synagogue. Where do you go in Italy to practice a different religious tradition to Christianity?

I had my first break looking down on the centre of Zoagli with a church tower and its tolling bells directly opposite me. The further west I go the more beautiful these towns get. They are all built on the sides of mountains which run all the way to the sea and have as much development as possible squeezed into what level land is
available near the water’s edge. Looking up at the mountain I could see houses dotted all about. I wondered why someone would choose such a location. The cost of building must be significantly more than on level ground, but I guess it’s a question of land availability. The thing recommending their location would be the fabulous views to be had down into the valley below and out to the sea, but surprisingly a large
number of them had no balcony from which they might take advantage of this aspect of their location. Curious!

Leaving Zogali I saw the mountain in front of me and contemplated how long it would take to climb. Blessings come in different forms. Not far ahead was a tunnel cutting through that mountain. But that was the only respite from the up and down terrain which continued for the entire length of today’s walk, some 23km. Today was the fifth day of this type of walking. There is no path I’ve trod in Spain that has made the demands I’ve experienced these past five days, particularly the last three days
which have been psychologically testing with that voice suggesting that any possible physical discomfort is a good enough reason to stop for the day.

I’m not sure of tomorrow’s terrain or the days beyond Genoa before I turn inland, but I suspect it will be more of the same. Since I started walking these mountain roads I’ve learned that the number one rule is that the summit is never around the next bend.

Today I could see from the road some reallly beautiful seaside towns like Santa
Margherita Ligure and San Lorenzo della Costa but the town/city that really caught my attention was Rapallo with its beautiful harbour full of yachts and other vessels, numerous restaurants looking very busy, dozens of hotels one of which, the salmon colored Hotel Europa was a 4 star, and a car free main street. I was there around 2pm. It had a great feel and a real buzz about it.

I’m in Recco tonight, which unlike Rapallo, appears to have just one hotel. I walked around for half an hour looking for one, had given up and was on my way out of town heading towards Genoa when I saw the place I’m staying. Forget about a
camping ground, or trying to find a piece of level ground on the side of the road which isn’t someone’s front yard.

Today was another tough one. The nature of the terrain makes it slower going so the time I spend on the road is much longer. I didn’t stop until 6pm. I hope to get into Genoa much earlier tomorrow.

Hotel Europa

Club, brock said that the song’s positivity was a highly conscious decision, a reaction to the war on terror, bleak predictions about global climate change and the general cultural darkness of the era