Friday, 10 July 2009
The Edelweiss Guesthouse and Thursday 9 July 2009 - Day 5 - Rifugio Don Barbera to Edelweiss guesthouse, Limonetto (1200 metres)
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Thursday 9 July 2009 - Day 5 - Rifugio Don Barbera to Edelweiss guesthouse, Limonetto (1200 metres)
Stats: 17km, 800 metres ascent, 8.5 hrs including 1.5 hours stops.
Today's entry will be brief due to an excess of socialising, if that's possible.
Most of the day was spent in splendid Karst scenery - limestone riddled with caves and strewn with green meadowy bits amongst the late to thaw snowfields.
Splendid scenery indeed.
We were on the border, consistently above 2000 metres until the descent to Limonetto.
Marmots were sunbathing and anxious wheatears tracked our progress along the well graded paths.
Our magnificent brew stop at 2200 metres was marred only by the discovery that one of my pan handles had been lost. This means that great care and technique is required to dispense tea and avoid bringing the first aid kit into action!
The diversion up Cima di Pepin was a delight, a botanist's paradise. Fort Pepin, pictured, lies just below the summit, overlooking France. This C19th fort is surrounded by a 'ditch' so without much effort it is impregnable to tourists like us. It has a commanding position over the Tende area of France, which may once have been in Italy, but these splendid forts date back further than any 20th Century boundary adjustments.
We made our way back to the main ridge, and enjoyed the sharp descent to the huge Fort Central where Andrew was waiting. The path down to Limonetto past some World War barracks was easy enough, if waymarked rather poorly for the final section.
The search for the Edelweiss guesthouse - "down the Roman Road" according to its website - nearly saw Andrew's demise. He wasn't expecting to have to carry on a further 2km from Limonetto, from where we followed the old Roman road to where it meets the new road at bend number 6. Not a building in sight; which way shall we turn? Andrew slumped into a heap beside the road after we were innocently misdirected by two passing ladies. Eventually a "we are lost at turn 6" call to the guesthouse saw us pointed in the correct direction (uphill to the right), and a few minutes later (quite a few in Andrew's case) we were cheerfully knocking back some beers in celebration of locating these luxurious quarters.
The Fox's and the 'Yorkshires' are also here, having made it from Rif Garelli today.
They have their own stories to tell!
So 11 happy 'Inglese' are holed up here, much to the delight of the staff, who have fed us up with a selection of antipasta, then crêpes with spinach or pasta with tomato and sausage, followed by pork or trout with courgettes and sauté potatoes, finishing with a choice of 4 tasty desserts. The wine went down well and everyone is happy.
Even Andrew, who seems to have cloned himself - maybe as a result of his earlier snacking - into three for this evening's merriment.