Coasting to Cinque Terre
Yesterday we drove from Florence to Cinque Terre. I was the driver of the rental because I have the most experience with stick shifts. I had not planned to be the driver so I had not taken the time to look over the map and familiarize myself with the route and the names of the towns along the way. I relied on the map readers, the navigators to direct me. Each intersection had a number of signs … Too many to read at a glance so my co-riders had to provide the information I needed to make the right choice at each decision point. What I learned was that as the three of them talked to each other the information about what route NOT to take truly interfered with my ability to confidently make the next move. I finally had to ask my car mates to tell me only where we are going and to leave out any discussion of where we are not going. I was quite confused by the extra information. It was very interesting. What I thought about was what it must be like for first time PULSE participants when they get instructions. It is confusing to have too much information at once and it is comforting to know the general idea or route first and is very helpful and reassuring to have some return to the map and verify the next steps the way the PULSE practitioner verifies where participants are on the way to resolution.
As we got closer to Monterosse the road narrowed and became winding. We climbed hills and then wound our way down again and again. When the sign read 16 kilometres to Monterosse the gas light came on. My assumption as I took the wheel in Florence was that the tank was full. WRONG. Hills and hairpin turns and running out of diesel. YIKES. The other car and driver were following us and their tank was still at half full. We began to realize that assumptions about full tanks in rental vehicles are dangerous. That is one mistake I will not make again. We coasted into Monterosse and located our hotel. To our dismay there are no gas stations in Monterosse. The closest one is seven kilometres north. We parked. The owner of the hotel has offered to find us some diesel before we leave tomorrow. Today it is raining and we are travelling by train to each of the five little villages along the picturesgue coast. The villages are as beautiful as the images Jim M shared with me a few months ago. Each village is unique and yet the same.
This is a great adventure and it is fun to share it with all of you. We are in Corniglia. Lots of thoughts about PULSE and travel and only a blackberry to use to share them. More tomorrow.