The next morning it is time for Darryl to part ways with us and go his own way (his plane leaves earlier than the rest of us, and he was planning on seeing some more touristy stuff). We briefly visit a neat Leonardo da Vinci exhibit (they are showing reproductions of his many machines), and then we are off, Darryl heading to Pisa and Markus, myself and Andree heading roughly northwards along the west coast of Italy, eventually up towards the Alps.
Along the way, we decide to liven up the day by doing a geocache (for details on what a geocache is, visit www.geocaching.com
). We pick one relatively at random and start following the GPS to the location. Turns out it is in an area of Italy called the Cinque Terre. This turns out to be a wonderfully wild set of towns perched/bolted to wildly rocky coastlines and deep azure waters. Our particular cache seems to be very near a town called Manarola. And so we park the car and walk down into this super-quaint little town.
And so we traverse narrow paths high above the mediterranean, past vineyards clinging to the hillside until we reach a quiet little trail junction with a stone wall next to it. We can't immediately locate the cache so Markus whips out his ancient laptop and we manually decode the cache hint. Aha... next to a rubber water hose in the wall.... and lo and behold, after a bit of looking, we find the cache hidden behind a section of wall - I don't think we'd have found it without the clue.
Here we are in this warm sunny spot in this scenic mediterranean paradise - sometimes geocaching can be a great way to get you to new and interesting places. A quick note in the logbook and an exchange of items from the cache and we are off - thankful to have seen this place. Our day is completed, after driving north for many hours, by locating a dingy old campground (the worst of the trip, it turns out) near lake Como, near the south end of the alps, just north of the city of Milan.