OK, so maybe the Adventurers could do a bit more research before they set off on their treks. But, on surface, the trail around (most) of Palmaria Island looked like a longish (11 km) but otherwise pleasant hike.
Part of the adventure was taking the boat from Portovenere across the channel to the island. From various vantage points, they’d spied the walkers on the island. It all looks level from the port town to its island neighbor.
The only hint of civilization was the sleepy town of Pozale, with its one restaurant and pretty harbor (pictured above).
Their boat was bustling with Saturday picnickers, including a large group celebrating a woman’s 50th birthday party. Most of their fellow travelers had packed picnic lunches. They had water and a couple of Cliff bars.
The walk started off on a broad path for a good mile or so. It then turned up – and up and up. Some of the footing was loose stones or slick rocks. They made their way steadily up the hillside, finally arriving at a lighthouse that was packed with a large group of Italian trekkers, most who had poles. They had not brought theirs, which they came to regret on the way down.
Their first hint of “trouble,” was the sign that warned that the downhill trail was “difficile.” That was a bit of an understatement. It was very, very steep and featured more rocks and slippery sole.
They finally made it down. They grabbed a bite to eat at Loconda Lorena, overseen by owner chef Giuseppe Basso. As a number reviews have noted, service is absolutely dreadful, particularly when you’re tired and hunger. But L’s mussels were among the best she’s ever eatern.
Waiting for the return boat, they enjoyed swapping experiences with a (younger) French couple who hadn’t made it all the way around. They figure a relatively few undertake the challenging trek. But they’re glad they did…
Hike/moderately difficult/six miles
Morning “stair master” hike in town/1.2 miles