Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Tuesday 29 July 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 35 - Fly Antidote, and a Soggy Pillow

Descending to Li Frè, near Balme

Plan: Day 36 - Laghi Verde to Pialpetta - 20 km, 1100 metres ascent, 9 hours.

Actual: Stopped early to wild camp by Laghi di Trione - 2170 metres (again):
14 km, 1200 metres ascent, 8.2 hours including 2 hours breaks.

Best bit: A cosy evening in the tent.

The weather cleared overnight, creating much condensation. But we were up and away, full of cake of course, by 7.15.

Ominous clouds to the north cleared as we descended past the dark green lakes in welcome shade towards Balme. Fine views eluded capture due to monochromatic lighting conditions.

Back in the land of Orange, the phone crackled as Notchy's News Bulletins homed in on us.

Gordon had not resigned.


Some new flowers greeted us on the descent - common monkshood and large-flowered houseleek, to name just two.

Care was needed as overnight rain had left the path wet and slippery. At Balme we entered the sunshine and luxuriated outside a café. I'm not sure what they thought about me wringing my socks out, but the coffee was good.

The flies had given us a break until now, but ascending slowly on a humid day at around 30C they returned with a vengeance. After 700 of our 1200 metre climb, lunch called. We were soon engulfed. Then spots of rain - the flies treated our waterproofs as if we'd covered ourselves with jam.

Two Germans on the GTA arrived - the only walkers we saw all day.
'Why are you wearing waterproofs, it's not raining?'
'No, putting the waterproofs on makes the rain stop. We've done you a favour!'
'Thanks' said the couple 'we don't really care anyway, as it's our last day.'

Hello, you two - we hope you got home safely.

Lunch comprised stale polenta bread and oily sardines - not the best - given the added fly attack.

The butter and chocolate were of faultless quality, though.

Shortly before we reached Colle Trione - 2485 metres - the flies started to be picked off, one by one, and they became less of a nuisance. The antidote - rain - quite heavy - for the final hour of today's stroll.

"It's for the heat."

Today it was 'for the flies' as well.

And it made my pillow soggy!

We slithered down over wet rock through body high undergrowth to the lovely (apart from flies and mossies) Laghi di Trione.

Cows had been here so we decided to filter the pure looking water. That took a while. But the rain had stopped and it was our last chance to wild camp for nearly two weeks, so we just had to spend the night in this beautiful spot.

Where else could we enjoy an entrée of soup made from a stock cube, with stale polenta bread, under a washing line of smelly wet socks surrounded by buzzing flies?

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