Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Saturday 11 July 2009 - Day 7 - Locanda del Parco, Palanfré to Vernante, and on to Limone

Stats: 12km, 350 metres ascent, 4.5 hrs including 0.5 hours stops.

The Inglese assault of the GTA today lost five of its eleven participants as our little faction made its way back to Limone.

I had anticipated a bus journey to Vernante today, but (there was no obvious bus and) the weather was fine, so the four hour walk via path L26 and 'La Via di Téit' looked a much better option.

Despite Notchy's difficulties the chosen route was most worthwhile. It was mildly challenging at times both in terms of the terrain and the route finding - occasional yellow paint flashes on trees and rocks encouraging us onwards.

As Richard remarked, we were above, below and in the snowline all at once at times, as we found our way through a chamber of ice that had made way for the passage of a stream and, today, ourselves.

Our negotiation of the path was somewhat agricultural at times and whilst Notchy was having his own, previously documented, problems, others were having fun with nettles and branches. "Oooh" exclaimed Jenny as the other end of a branch that Sue had trodden on swished some nettles up her shorts.

Further round the valley the difficulties eased and our attention turned to the luscious strawberries and the sturdy specimens of many types of fungal growth.

A viewpoint beckoned. Whilst the rest of us were perfectly happy with that offered to the simple tourist, Sue scooted up an old wooden ladder, tacked together with rusty nails, for a slightly better vantage point.

"Scariest bit of the whole trip", she admitted, after sliding back down the ladder.

Finally, a descent through more lovely woodland brought us out in the small town of Vernante, where a few metres down the tarmac the friendly Hotel Martinet did us proud for beers and lunch, to celebrate the end of this delightful route.

A flashy train took us on the 10 minute trip back to Limone.

R + R followed for the others, whilst Sue and I nipped up 500 metres to Collette Almellina in a futile search for my misplaced walking poles.

An adequate meal at a pizzeria was followed by Yoyopartyband's 'Saturday night in Limone' concert, in the main square. The cycle shorts clad singer was mostly in tune and Sue and Jenny joined the prancing children in front of the stage for a while. It would have been foolish to retire earlier, as the beat easily penetrated our hotel rooms - a precursor to the later burble from St Patrick's bar and the Lanterna Club.

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