Plan: (Day 21) Rest Day
Actual: Rest Day
Best bit: Wandering around the pretty village of Chiappera, five minutes down the road.
Cumulative to date (planned in brackets):
286 km (276), 21450 metres ascent (21100), 111 hours (roughly!) walking (117).
No of summits visited: still 6 (they are harder now!)
No of cols or passes visited: 47
Highest point: Colle del Sautron - 2687 metres
No of native English speakers met/seen from a distance: still 0 - apart from the Welsh car in the Monti Liguri area.
Serious applications of waterproofs: 0
To Merlijn in Amsterdam:
Congratulations, you are the first person encountered en route to have commented on the blog. We did enjoy our brief time with you and Milka at Malinvern and we hope you appreciated the wonderful weather we brought with us!
To Gayle and Mick:
Congratulations on getting to John O'Groats and commiserations on your having to return to the 'day jobs'.
We're sure you'll enjoy the C2C in September.
How about applying for next year's TGO Challenge?
And Gayle, you must be a glutton for punishment trying to catch up with these ramblings!
Thank you for the updates on world affairs. Will you still be able to send them from the trawler you have hired to watch City, or was that someone else and you will be watching City's European debut from the sidelines of the Field Kitchen?
To Roman (Lighthiker)
Thanks for your messages. My own Alpine experiences regarding Italians largely echo your own. I would add that they have a penchant for travelling, and walking, in coach loads, which can be a little tedious for others when their route is of the Via Ferrata nature. Also, the coach loads sometimes meld into groups of huge numbers. Some of our readers will recall an episode on Piz Boë when we lost track of each other in the crowd (who were all singing) and had difficulty negotiating our way to the summit.
But, as you say, the huts are full of other nations (I hesitate to say 'Germans'!).
We will soon have to make some advance bookings, I fear, but we do have the lovely green tent as back-up, and we are Alpine Club members...
We are using the Italian IGC 1:50000 maps, which actually show the paths surprisingly accurately. Even with our 'Jungle Experience' I'm sure there was a path, it was just so overgrown and infested with animal tracks that we missed the correct route.
But our ongoing route over Passo di Fiutrusa raises concern on two counts:
• The 2858 metre pass has a steep 700 metre drop to the north.
• Our catering arrangements for the crossing/possible retreat are logistically flawed.
So we may well instead follow the GTA route, which I did plan as a valid alternative.
Actually all alternatives are valid!
The GTA book by Gillian Price says 'groceries' are available here. It fails to mention that those groceries are basically items from the chef's store cupboard. So we could set off with a few catering packs suitable for a major expedition such as this, but as there is no sign of the mule whose droppings we followed over the Colle del Sautron yesterday, my food porter may object. And as the GTA route has a shop, supposedly, in Pleyne, and passes through the fleshpots of Pontechianale, we may choose that option.
The chef is a delightful chap, and quite happy to sell groceries from his cupboards. The flaw in Gillian Price's assertion that groceries are available here is her failure to mention that your menu should exclude muesli, chocolate, GORP, packet soup, etc (ie backpacking food).
Anyway, that's not really a problem, we've had a nice day here in lovely sunny weather. The pretty village down the road, Chiappera, has lots of children and chickens, and a lovely little church with a bulbous Tyrolean tower and outside frescos. Also a bar that sells very acceptable ice cream.
We have been very lazy ('recovering', says Sue) today, but we hope the chef has been busy, as we will be testing his skills tonight.
Anyone wishing to view our summary and detailed itineraries, or our kit lists, should use the link to the GTA web page from the home page of http://www.topwalks.com/