23 Sep Varazze
Although I could have taken my time, I only stayed for one night at each of the last campsites. Each of these places deserved to stay at least a week or two. This luxury was now finally over, because with the new job, of course, the date on which I start work was also fixed. That was in exactly 11 days, on 04.10.2022.
Excitedly calm, I started the new day with a breakfast at the campground bar, Cafe Amerikano and a croissant. Officially, today was my penultimate day of running, because after that I would arrive just outside Genoa. The path shone again a little brighter than the days before, although it was not more beautiful. Still, I took in the beauty again, the paths along the beach, the tunnels, the views, but also the stark climb. When I finally got the exhausting Kladderadatsch behind me, I was in Varazze. Right at the beginning of the town was a supermarket that I had chosen. As I unbuckled my car, I saw a loaded bike leaning against the wall of the supermarket and thought “Cool, maybe another interesting encounter?” After the shopping trip, a young woman was actually sitting on the floor enjoying her meal in typical long-haul fashion. Of course I chatted her up and it became an exciting hour full of experiences with Nine from Germany. Varazze turned out to be a very long place and the road to the campsite a worthy final opponent. Completely out of breath, I reached the reception. “Do you have a reservation?” the campground manager asked me, rolling her eyes in annoyance, explaining that at the moment you shouldn’t just show up at the campground without calling first. Because at the moment many campsites have already closed and yet more and more campers come to the region. Finally she gave me a nice place, while arriving campers were sent away again. With this knowledge and the prospect of running towards a big city, I decided to end my journey on foot in this square and take the train to Genoa for the rest of the way.
So I stayed four days in this place, preparing my journey home and enjoying the small town of Varazze. So there was an award-winning ice cream parlor there, an ice cream that was excellent in Italy, I had to try it. Just getting it was challenging because there you didn’t just get in line, no, like at the office you took a number and waited patiently until your “bing” sounded. Yes, it was super delicious, but I had had super delicious ice cream in other places and countries. Still, I was glad to have tried it, because the next day the ice cream parlor was closed and not only that, all the beach bars and restaurants, sunbeds and umbrellas were taken down. The season was officially over and the Mediterranean confirmed it with huge waves. The weather also played along with this action, strong wind, heavy rain showers and it got colder. Sometimes I thought what it would be like to walk further now and that’s when I knew I was taking the easier way. Using an app, I bought the Flixbus ticket with extra luggage, then scouted out the train station and pulled the train ticket, for 6:50 in the morning, two days from now, from the ticket machine. Then came a very emotional moment, I disassembled my Benpacker. The car that made this trip what it was, an unforgettable time! Without these wagons we would not have been able to walk this way in any way so comfortably, absolutely reliable, without major breakdowns and bitching, the wagons followed us every step of the way, carrying our unnecessary luggage and water. But above all, without the wagons, we would never in our lives have met so many great people. Now the time had come to disassemble it and pack it into the bag.
Furthermore, I tried to send home as many things as possible by mail, because on the one hand I can not take so much stuff on the bus and on the other hand I have to carry it all, including scales. On the way to the post office I realized how hard it will be to walk the steep, long stairs early in the dark or the steep, mile-long path to the sea and then another 3 km to the train station.
There were about 10 people sitting in the post office, I looked around, noticed that people were holding numbers in their hands, and discovered the number-pulling machine. But that would be too easy, it was a computer, in Italian of course. A woman helped me along and then I clicked through to the number. Proud to have overcome this hurdle, I waited for my entrance. “What do you want?”, “Posting packages.”, “You drew the wrong number there, you need one with a ‘P’ at the beginning.” The nice gentleman drew me a new, correct number and continued to serve me anyway. I bought three empty packages, of which I only needed two, the third was taken back without complaint. In this cramped, people-filled store, I spread out my stuff in a corner, filled the packages, and labeled the labels, in duplicate, of course. Meanwhile, of course, other customers were being served, so I dutifully drew a new number, with ‘P’ in front, and waited my turn to check in smoothly, with the friendly clerks.
Relieved, I bought some provisions and a last Italian beer.