Actual: Fawlty Towers Rifugio to Rif Don Barbera - 2070 metres
30 km, 1750 metres ascent, 9.8 hours including 1.5 hours breaks.
Best bit: Superb ridge with slopes pink with alpenrose.
First, apologies for the delay (I think) in Saturday's missive. It seemed to have gone but then it seemed not to have gone, so you may have it twice. Sending images may be the problem....so I've deleted Saorge from the Day 4 report just sent..
Today, perhaps for the first and only time, we are ahead of schedule. That's because my planned water supply at Colla Rossa, proved to be a figment of the Italian map maker's imagination. So with no water encountered all day, it seemed wise to come as far as this excellent little refuge and its fine cuisine.
We waved off Arne, the mountain biker from Bad Gastein, and headed directly back to the border. We were going well, and Arne was surprised to pass us 2 hours later - we had taken a more direct route!
The morning was spent on easy broad tracks in the forest, until the sharp ascent of Monte Saccarello (2200 metres - our high point), where we lunched near a 14 metre tall statue of Christ "The Redeemer".
We had seen a chamois in the forest; later a roe deer showed us its bum. (Sue says we saw more than its bottom as it leapt over the alpenrose!)
Today the whistles of marmots became a familiar sound that will accompany us all the way on this trip.
We left the AV dei Monti Liguri path for the last time at lunchtime and this afternoon we were again on a relatively unfrequented route described only as 'A35' on our map. It was a lovely ridge path that side-stepped any difficulties and delivered us safely to this refuge in plenty of time to order dinner.
We found another summit, Cima Misoun, 2356 metres, a new high point. A visitors book allowed us to make the first English entry since it was started in June 2006. Neither this nor last night's refuge has any recorded English speaking visitor over the past two years.
Later, the ridge path took us to a new high point of 2390 metres.
We saw no other walkers at all today, on this fine traverse. Not one!
But there are 10 of us staying in this refuge, so perhaps we are entering more frequented territory.
Will we go higher tomorrow?
Will the weather hold? We had flurries of cloud today, and it rained at the refuge after we arrived. But it's now a beautifully clear evening. Despite walking up to the border I can't find a signal, so this, and the re-sending of Day 4, will have to wait.
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