Days 34 and 35 – two days near the Maritime Alps

We arrived at Albenga just a few minutes later than scheduled to be met by Liz, Molly’s friend from training days all those years ago.

After doing a grocery shop for our stay we wended our way up tiny twisty roads in Liz’s and Shane’s Landrover to arrive at Rezzo, their home for the past 15 years or so.

Once installed in a nice little apartment that Liz had booked for us just down the attractive stone-paved street from where they were living we started to drink in the peace and the fabulous views down the valley, with little hamlets dotted about the wooded hillsides with church steeples here and there.

Because Liz and Shane have lived in the village for such a long time they knew a good percentage of the regular population, as well as the ‘swallows’ who typically live and work on the coast, but own a holiday property in the village.

It also meant they knew most of the tracks and footpaths in the vicinity for rural hill walking.

On our first day Liz drove us to a start point high up in the foothills for a superb upland walk she knew.

On the way we stopped to admire some secret rocky pools fed by the stream running down the mountainside which, in warm summer weather, provided a great cooling wild swimming spot.   Too chilly today with temperatures only around 17 or 18!

We started our mountain walk up to a local peak that had a magnificent panoramic view right across the Maritime Alps and down to the Mediterranean sea some 35km away.

On the way we passed a profusion of wildflowers and in the distance heard the tinkling sound of sheep bells on sheep grazing on distant hillsides. Lovely!

On the second day Liz took us on a lovely peaceful circular walk down the valley following the stream to another of their favourite rock pools. Passing ancient stone bridges crossing the river from time to time we then walked up on the other side of the valley up to Rezzo again.

Shane, meanwhile, was working hard on the refurbishment/rebuilding of a traditional stone built house which, in due course was to be their new home.

To finish off our stay we had been invited to a barbeque held by some good friends down the valley.

We spent a very sociable evening with them on their patio under the branches of some very old kiwi fruit trees. We had interesting conversations running far and wide, accompanied by delicious food and wine – and I even finished off the meal with a small helping of some rather pleasant  grappa!

An early bedtime ready for our 5.30am start to catch our train from Albenga meant we didn’t stay too late!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *