I forgot to mention the big event on the hike. For the last half of this last part from Vernazza to Monterosso, I was walking behind Stephanie and we were talking. Cesare and Steve got quite a bit ahead of us, but when we came to open hillsides we could see them ahead and sometimes we would call back and forth across a valley to each other. As we were nearing the end of the trail, we had not seen them in quite some time and they would have stopped and waited for us. We kept walking, thinking we would find them waiting around each bend. Finally we came out into Monterosso and they were not there where the trail ended and there is no way they would not be waiting there.
Luckily both couples had cell phones; unluckily Steve had ours and Cesare had theirs. They also both had the money. I had 50 cents. We were about to stop people and ask for money, when we heard someone calling from way up high on a hillside above where we were. They were up there - they had taken a wrong turn on the trail, but not realized it, and were waiting for us. Steve happened to see us down below walking through town (which must not have been easy, because there were a lot of people around). They called out several times and Stephanie finally heard them. Crisis over - wives reunited with husbands (and cell phones and money).