Day 2 Stats: 7km, 1000 metres ascent, 4.5 hours including 45 min stops.
Another cloudless morning saw us breakfasting at 7.30 and away by 8.40.
More mixed woodland kept us shaded from the sun most of the way up to Gias Madonna (1653 metres), where we lingered in the shade with binoculars for a long brew stop in view of chamois (we now think, not ibex) and marmots.
Then we dropped down a little before contouring on a gently rising path up to Rifugio Garelli via Gias Soprano di Sestrera. ('Gias' means shepherd's hut.)
The ground was fairly moist from snow melt and numerous small streams in this limestone area. The building, pictured above, was in a 5 metre snowdrift back in March, according to the guardian.
The rifugio was rebuilt around 1990, following its destruction by fire in 1987. It's a very hospitable place.
I was travelling even lighter today, having left my torch under my pillow at Rif Pian delle Gorre. What will be next to go, I wonder? My loose memory chip?
We enjoyed a lunch of spaghetti with garlic and chilli, washed down with cans of Moretti beer. Then, should we carry on to Rif Mondovi, some two hours away, or should we stay here?
A mixture of lack of inertia and low cloud building up nearby led us to opt to stay for the night, leaving a whole afternoon for R + R.
A nearby alpine botanical garden kept us occupied for a while, plus various mini excursions to nearby beauty spots with fine views towards the Marguareis summits when the boiling cloud allowed.
It's a lovely spot, we have a dormitory to ourselves, the beer is flowing, and we have enjoyed another four course work of culinary genius (by rifugio standards)....
There are 12 of us staying tonight. The five of us, five Italians based in Turin, and last night's two quizzical Germans. It turns out that Sue and I met them last year on our IBR walk - hence their curiosity - they had recognised us.
It really is a small world!
We've enjoyed a lovely sunset - the clouds having partly cleared. We are happy and replete.
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