I’m not sure whether it’s our recent desire to experience the great outdoors or the thought of those extra kilos we have put on while tasting the local cuisine, but Jules and I have found ourselves doing quite a bit of hiking of late. We are certainly not seasoned trail blazers by any means, but the challenge of a good climb, the possibility of some scenic views and the promise of a beer at the end is normally enough to get us interested. Such was the case when Jules suggested that we might like to tackle the much talked about trek from Positano (via Nocelle) to Bomerano, which goes by the intriguing title of ‘The Walk of the Gods’. Now, we have both been traveling long enough to be a little wary of grand titles given to certain walking trails … sometime the hype can overshadow the actual trek. However, as we had already experienced some of the breathtaking views from the cliff tops overlooking the Amalfi coast, we looked forward to this particular walk in anticipation of the amazing sights it might offer.
With seemingly endless days of 30+ degree temperatures, we knew that we would have to begin the walk quite early in the day … a feat easier said than done when you’ve slipped into holiday mode! However, with the mountains above Positano still in shadows, we began the initial climb to Nocelle. We had been warned that this part of the walk would possibly be the most testing, as it consisted of a very steep series of steps winding up the cliff face. Well, when I say a ‘series’ of steps, what I really mean is an ‘awful lot’ of steps! It was a few days later, with our muscles still feeling the pain, that we found out that the actual total number of steps covering the 400 metres upward was over 1700! It took us 45 minutes and was a very testing way to begin. So with a certain degree of satisfaction, we sat down for a minute in a small piazza in Nocello, guzzling water and looking back down toward Positano that sat far below.
Our initial plan for the 7 kilometre walk was to see how we felt after an hour or two and if the going was getting too tough, we would simply turn back, but having come this far we just knew we would have to press on. Although we weren’t right at the top of the mountain range we were pretty close, on a trail that seemed to thread its way along the very edge of its rocky ridges. Occasionally the track would dip back into dark leafy valleys then emerge once again to reveal spectacular views of the Amalfi coastline and beyond. Gradually we began to see more walkers, but they were all heading in the opposite direction than us! It seemed that they might have been more aware of those steps from Positano to Nocelle than we had been and had chosen for the more favorable down hill option to finish their journey rather than at the start.
As we savored our icy cold drinks, we observed other venturers preparing to tackle the trek in the reverse direction. By now the heat of the day had well and truly settled in and although we didn’t envy what they were about to physically endure, we knew that they would be amply rewarded for their efforts, as we had been for ours. ‘The Walk of the Gods’ had well and truly lived up to its grand name and reputation as one of Italy’s great walks. However, at this point we were more than happy to conveniently take the bus back to Positano where it had all began.