Although the trail between Monterosso and Vernazza appears short on the map, it is described as the most rugged and physically demanding section of the coastal trail, with lots of steep steps and rough sections, but worth it for the stunning views! Today was sunny and warm and the trail was busy. We crossed paths with a couple from Kansas City we had met the night before and also people from Peachland who had been on our train. We also chatted with hikers from Saanich, Port Moody and Michigan as we edged past each other on the narrow path, which generally had no protection on the side of the sea!
With the only natural harbour of the five villages, Vernazza is picturesque, and was particularly so in the evening light. As the sun went down, we sat in the main piazza and chatted by FaceTime with our grandchildren in Victoria. Later, Paul sampled the traditional fare of fresh anchovies, quite different from the pizza variety. Lois did a wine tasting of Cinque Terres wines. On the wall of the restaurant at dinner there were photos of the wreckage from severe floods of 2011 which caused significant damage to the villages of Vernazza and Monterosso as well to the main (coastal) trail. Parts of that trail between Corniglia and Manarola and between Manarola and Riomaggiore remain closed.