Sunday, June  16, 2019
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The shady forest walk soon brought us to a trail junction with trail 587. Trail 587 was - completely unlike 586 - an uphill/downhill trail - connecting Corniglia with the trail network in the hills high above. Corniglia was our destination, so down we went.
End of trail 586
Down to Corniglia
Down to Corniglia
The descent along 587 was perhaps the roughest section of trail we had encountered thus far. Now, this isn't to say that it was treacherous, but it was certainly not the smooth, flat tread we had been walking on just a few minutes before. No, it was simply a standard-issue, steep-ish, somewhat rocky hiking path, leading downhill through relatively nondescript forest.

As we neared Corniglia, the forest began to give way to small open stretches and then once again to cultivated vineyards. Corniglia itself soon came into full view, with its cluster of buildings and houses attractively set against a blue sea.
Corniglia Outskirts
Arriving Corniglia
End of trail 587
courtesy RHanel
San Pietro Entrance
Common Fountain Faucet
A few minutes later, trail 587 terminated in the town of Corniglia, at a street which also serves as the pass-through for trail 592 (the sentiero azzurro coastal path) through the town. This was the end of our hiking for the day, and it also marked the completion of half of the walk between the five towns. Tomorrow, we'd pick up from this point and continue north to the remaining two towns of Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare.

At the moment, though, we were ready for a relaxing evening. It was now right around 5:30pm, plenty of time to fit in an activity before dinner. We returned to our apartment for a bit of freshening up, then decided a dip in the ocean on this beautiful, warm day might be nice. Taking advantage of the fact that our apartment was directly on the laneway leading down to the marina / coast (remember, the laneway is called the via alla marina), we descended the short distance down to the water, where - despite the relative lack of actual sand beach - there were quite a few people sunning and swimming. The sea turned out to be perfectly warm and swimmable. While bobbing in the water, we could look up and clearly see the pink building in which our apartment was located.
courtesy JInnes
courtesy JInnes
courtesy JInnes
Warm Ligurian Waters
Coastline below Corniglia
Our pink apartment
After our refreshing swim, we climbed back up to the apartment to shower and get changed. We then spent some time wandering around the town before, during and after sunset, capturing the various moods and colors.
courtesy JInnes
Master Bedroom
Sea view
Cinque Terre Sunset
Our gates
Via Alla Marina Sunset
Terrace Crowd at Sunset
Piazzetta Fosso
View South from Corniglia
Via alla Marina at dusk
We elected to have dinner at a restaurant in the Largo Taragio, Corniglia's tiny town square. The place was quiet, with relatively few people about. I was starting to become quite fond of Corniglia's generally quiet atmosphere. I hadn't actually been to the two most northerly Cinque Terre towns yet, but so far, Corniglia was the least busy, the least touristy, of the ones we'd visited.
Piazza Dinner
After dinner, we did some more exploring of Corniglia's streets, now fully in darkness. The back-alleys and laneways were basically deserted, and in places completely unlit. The highlights of our nocturnal exploration included the town cemetary, spookily lit up with hundreds of votive grave lights, and the little piazzetta fosso behind the main square's old church, where a group of young kids were enthusiastically playing soccer by the light of two streetlamps.
Laneway to Cemetary
Ancient Walls
Ghostly Cemetery
Soccer Nation
Antique Stillness
Largo Taragio at night
Here's a short video clip of these same kids playing their pick-up soccer match in quiet Corniglia:

Kids playing soccer in quiet Corniglia

Having fairly thoroughly explored the town (Corniglia is quite small, so this didn't take too long), we returned to our apartment, where Jenn and Stephanie capped off a very full day with the writing of a few postcards.
Postcard Writing
Interactive trackmap with photo points - Cinque Terre Day 1, Riomaggiore to Corniglia - click map to view

Hike Data - Riomaggiore to Manarola
Start Time:
11:53AM
Start Elevation:
209ft (64m) *
End Time:
12:49PM
Max Elevation:
824ft (251m) *
Duration:
0h55m
Min Elevation:
193ft (59m) *
Distance:
1.06 km (0.66 mi)
End Elevation:
254ft (77m) *
Average Speed:
1.2 km/hr (0.7 mph)
* : +/- 75 feet

Hike Data - Manarola to Corniglia
Start Time:
2:58PM
Start Elevation:
203ft (62m) *
End Time:
5:21PM
Max Elevation:
1231ft (375m) *
Duration:
2h22m
Min Elevation:
203ft (62m) *
Distance:
5.2 km (3.23 mi)
End Elevation:
354ft (108m) *
Average Speed:
2.2 km/hr (1.4 mph)
* : +/- 75 feet
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