Monday, 5 September 2016
Monday 5 September 2016 - GEA - Passo del Cerreto to Prato Spilla
1370 metres ascent
7 hours 30 mins
Another fine, sunny day. Excellent breakfast of croissants and the usual stuff, including a plate of parma ham for each of us. Gillian (thanks for your comment by the way) was right - Hotel Passo del Cerreto was a little pricey compared with other places. But for €80 each we got the apartment, a good meal and breakfast, tea, beer and wine, and paninis for lunch, so we aren't complaining.
Today was again a walk in tandem with Yves and Michel, who we lose tomorrow as they are having a shorter day. A few other people were seen - mainly at the picnic benches we passed from time to time.
We were mostly in woodland just off the main ridge, but we did cross that at Passo Pietra Tagliata ('cut stone pass'), after the first of three abrupt ascents.
After elevenses on the pass, we descended quite some way before rising to the Sarzana rifugio, closed for the season but having a small 'winter room' that was open. On this warm day there was no need for that - we enjoyed lunch with the Belgians and a family with an overactive dog.
On the way we had passed some tightly packed sheep, whose shepherds also had a pack of about eight white Patou dogs in tow. We also followed a trail of horse manure up a hill. The bells on the animals got steadily closer then suddenly 'disappeared' without a sighting.
The third hill was an ascent up a zigzag path through beech woods. Despite setting off with two lunches and almost a gallon of water, Cary was getting weary (maybe he had over eaten?) and needed to be coaxed up the hill. From the final pass it was an easy walk to the modest ski resort at Prato Spilla, which we reached around 4.30 pm. We have a room for four in the Albergo, where we will share a table with the Belgians for our 8 pm evening meal.
Sue and I have washed virtually all our clothes, so we are very fresh and clean.
Today's pictures show a typical place in which we are staying - last night's Hotel Passo del Cerreto, a view towards our first ascent of the day, and Sue and Cary cresting a rise in the path.