Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Sunday 20 July 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 26 - Sunshine and Showers

Mural on the wall of a house in Didiero

Plan: Day 27 - Ghigo di Prali to Berg del Lauson - 19 km, 1700 metres ascent, 7 hours.

Actual: Ghigo di Prali to Balsiglia, 1370 metres, - GTA stage 20:
15 km, 850 metres ascent, 6.5 hours including 1.5 hours breaks.

Best bit: The lovingly laid out museum.

Messages first:

If Tobias, who we met yesterday descending to Villanova, reads this - if you left your head torch at Ghigo - Romina, at the Posto Tappa, is keeping it safe for you.

Romina, it was a pleasure to meet you, and thank you for looking after us so well.

Notchy - thank you for the continuing news updates - their entertainment value is increasing!...

Perhaps yesterday's 'PS' was misplaced! Today dawned bright and sunny, but by 11.30 there was minor leakage. Further 'leakages' occurred whilst we strolled along, and in between bursts of strong sunshine we did actually wear our pillows (aka waterproofs) for about an hour.

That would have been longer if we had continued to our planned camping spot some 800 metres above our current position.

As it is, we are happily installed in the Posto Tappa at Balsiglia, together with a couple from Hamburg, Volker and Eva-Maria. Hello both, we enjoyed your company.

This remote Posto Tappa has no restaurant, but good facilities for cooking the meal we would have enjoyed in the tent, and groceries that we can use if we want. Everything is on an honesty basis, and it is indeed a privilege to have this house to ourselves in the cosy hamlet whilst stair rods plummet from the sky outside.

Tomorrow it will be sunny again. As Showell Styles used to say about the rain in the Alps:

'It's for the heat.'

It was a pastoral morning through gently undulating woods with small yellow foxgloves, bearded bellflowers and common spotted orchids. The path was lined with strawberries, so progress was slow.

Coffee was taken after a couple of hours in the excellent Osteria in Rodoretto. This delightful little hamlet proved difficult to escape from, until we ignored all the (many) paths and - per guide book instructions - headed 'uphill' from behind the church, through a steep pathless field to reach the desired track. A '15 minute break' had become nearly an hour by then!

After lunch at a picnic bench above Didiero, sadly curtailed by said 'leakage', a stroll down a pleasant track led to that tidy village which is decorated with artistic murals on the walls of the houses.

Then it was a stroll up a leafy lane to our home for tonight, which is above a historical museum about the exile of Waldensians from this area, their return three years later (1689) and the subsequent siege in 1690 from which most of them accomplished an audacious escape on a foggy night. The museum is a little gem, and the building is a schoolhouse built in 1889 to mark the 200th anniversary of 'The Return'.

Tomorrow we will do the 800 metre climb planned for today. And more. The sun will shine.

Next Day
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