"You are on a walking holiday, can't you walk up to the pass?" said the hotel staff yesterday when we asked for a lift. However, by the time we went down for dinner Luigi happily informed us "I have found someone to take you to the pass."
Albergo Silvano proved a good place to stay. Again we were the only guests, but three locals turned up for their dinners.
The day dawned clear and blue. Down at 400 metres the green hue of spring is really getting going, with lots of signs of fresh leaves unfurling on the trees. Higher up on the GEA it's more a case of the buds sprouting forth. The leaves will come in a week or two. We are led to believe that, as in all of Northern Europe, spring has arrived late this year.
Jean Luca and his lady turned up slightly early and willingly transported us back up to Passo del Muraglione on the lovely sunny morning.
The crest hugging path soon found us disturbing some foraging red deer. We just caught sight of them scampering away.
We had originally hoped to enjoy a scenic diversion an hour along today's continuation of the GEA/00 trail, but the return trip to the Acquacheta cascades would have added an unacceptable 3 hours to our day.
Most of today's paths were shared with trial bikers, four of whom politely waving as we stood aside. If I was a trial biker I'd love this area, and it seems fair enough that they use some of the paths - there are few other walkers and the churning of the path isn't too bad and will lessen as conditions get drier.
Today we met just four day walkers and eight trial bikers. That was on a brilliantly sunny and warm Sunday that called for shorts and t-shirts for the first time this year. Summer has arrived! What a contrast to the winter conditions we experienced yesterday morning.
The path along the crest of the main Apennine ridge afforded extensive views south west over Tuscany (pictured), and north east over Emilia-Romagna, as it wound in and out of beech groves and over a series of small crests at around 1100 metres.
By 4pm we had reached the place known as Poggio degli Allocchi (knoll of the owls), from where we chose to descend steeply over slippery leaf litter and through prickly brambles to the small village of Casaglia, where we have the run of the Posto Tappa. Sue is pictured outside with her first pot of tea. It's much warmer outside than inside on this lovely sunny evening.
We walked 22 km in 7 hours 40 minutes today, on this leg of our journey.
We have the place to ourselves, but there is no chef tonight. I must go now and put tea on...
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