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Day 4: Vernazza 7 La Cigoletta 1 Sella La Croce 01 Riomaggiore (750m)
The trip along route 1 from La Cigoletta to Sella La Croce is only 3K and before starting today I wondered whether I could do the next section (to Telegrafo) as well: it's another 3K. However, after travelling to Vernazza by train, today starts with the trip up route 7 that starts with a steep climb up loose rocks. By the time I reached the church at San Bernardino (350m) I was really exhausted. And then it's another 262m to get to La Cigoletta (612m). I wasn't enjoying today. I also had a headache probably from drinking too much wine the previous evening. I rested for some lunch at Sella di M. Cuna (750m) where a large group of noisy Italians were coming the other way.
By this time, I decided that I would descend from Sella La Croce. The footpath goes down from here to Riomaggiore. The footpath is numbered 01. (Yes, that's a strange numbering, i.e., in addition to routes numbered 1, 2, 3 there are also routes numbered 01, 02, 03. Crazy!) I was a bit apprehensive that this footpath might be steep as it descends from Sella La Croce (617m) almost in a straight line to Riomaggiore: however, it turned out OK: most parts were gently steep and steps are provided on the really steep sections.
The first part of the route is accompanied with a lots of posts with a sign at the top with a yellow background and the word "metanodotte" in large capital letters. To begin with, I was wondering whether this somehow was indicating it was a steep route but I soon decided that wasn't the case as the posts occurred so frequently. Later in the hotel, my big Italian-English dictionary told me that "metano" means "methane" but I never found out what "dotte" means.