The roadtrip: Portofino

“For how long will she go on about this roadtrip?” Is that what you’re thinking when you’re skimming through my posts? If so, I’m sorry, but the blog is an excellent bragging outlet and I need to channel my excitement for this amazing trip somewhere. Carry on? Ok, but there will be more bragging. Just sayin’.

Camogli by boat

We got to Camogli late at night and had some trofie with pesto by the sea. The Italian was finally home; he had access to pasta again! His mate had told us exactly what to do in the area: we should take a boat from Camogli in the morning to San Fruttuoso (an abbey in the middle of a national park), then we should walk “an easy route” to Portofino, whereby we should sit down for lunch. Stellar advice.

Going to San Fruttuoso

If I was a lady of cursing, I would insert suitable phrase here now. Bleep.

San Fruttuoso

I did not get the severity of the hike – because hike indeed it was. I foolishly wore a pair of cute sandals, a blouse and a very nice handbag to complement the outfit, as we set out to explore the Ligurian coast. On the boat out to San Fruttuoso we were joined by, what can only be described as, a “prepared” team of Swedish trekkers. They had hiking boots, poles and appropriate clothing. I started to get nervous.

Beautiful beach at San Fruttuoso

When we approached San Fruttuoso I was amazed by its location. Nestled between two rocks, the water was crystal clear and the restaurants on the pebbled beach looked inviting. There was no sign of a road, which made me even more nervous. The hills were steep and this was very much in the middle of nowhere.

Coffee on the beach

After a coffee pit stop we set off, ready to walk the bit to Portofino, which we had heard was “only” 1 hour and 30 minutes away, taking the sea route. I’ll make the story short, although I can assure you that it was nothing but short in reality!

The craggy coastline

The Italian and I hiked through dense forest, steep paths, slippery trails and I think I spotted a hornet hive at one point! When we had turned a corner and thought we’d see Portofino, all we could see were more trees. At one point we met a fellow hiker who cheerfully told us it was over 2 hours to Portofino. By that time, we’d been walking for an hour with no sight of civilisation. I started to despair. Had it not been for my inappropriate outfit choice, I might’ve enjoyed the experience. The Italian had to take his shirt off, because of the basking heat. Poor man.

Portofino

Then suddenly, a house came into view. Then another one. Then the path changed and turned into a proper road. I was exhausted, but we had a mission: we’d booked a restaurant in Portofino (how foresightful of us) and if we’d miss our reservation, we might not get any food. Or horror, food at a touristy tavern. Do you sense the drama here?

The marina

30 minutes later and at 2pm sharp (2 hours after we set out from San Fruttuoso), we arrived at Restaurant O’Batti. It was like we’d come to Paradise, a Paradise thriving on exquisite langoustines. After such a mission, the lunch was such a reward and the langoustines in their buttery sauce unforgettable.

This is Portofino

While both of us won’t be hiking anytime soon in sandals and sneakers, the Italian turned to me as we’d conquered the treacherous trail and said: “You know, if we come back in 30 years’ time, prepared like the hiking Swedes, we’ll remember this day with nostalgia”. To be honesty, I think we already do.

Needless to say, we didn’t take the hiking trail back to Camogli. We opted for the boat instead – something I would encourage most people of various fitness levels to do.

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