Sunday, 4 September 2016
Sunday 4 September 2016 - GEA - Rifugio Bargetana to Passo del Cerreto
1200 metres ascent
7 hours 45 mins
Blue skies were soon tinged with high cloud today, but conditions were pretty much perfect for walking.
By way of a change, here's Sue's entry for the day, as she's nearly finished writing and I'm about to start, having given finishing Stephen Booth's novel 'Black Dog' priority:
"Earplugs were of benefit in the full, hot dormitory. We breakfasted at 8, with the rifugio's brioche, toast and biscuits supplemented by a bowl of raspberries that Cary had been out to pick. Tepid caffe latte too. There was a slight delay in paying up (€55 each - all in) and getting sandwiches but we were away by 9 am for our longest day yet.
Numerous tents were pitched in the woods near the rifugio. We climbed easily through these woods, back up to the ridge. On the first high point were two men and a boy, in camouflage with guns. They were hunting male chamois. We didn't hear any shots.
Being Sunday there were lots of people out.
The path traversed, mostly on open ground, sometimes on the crest of the ridge. High cloud made conditions hazy. Long stretches over grassland brought us to Passo di Pradarena at about noon, after an elevenses stop on the steep hillside earlier, for Kitkats and the remains of last night's 'torta mista'.
At the pass was the sadly closed Albergo Carpe Diem (a fine looking building - hopefully someone will take it on), but there was a bonus of two stalls selling local produce at this busy spot. We bought Fanta, fruit, some cheese and a packet of pastries filled with Nutella, stopping in the shade for the drinks.
Just as we were leaving, Yves and Michel arrived, having stayed at Rifugio Battista last night, where they too enjoyed a concert that lasted until midnight. Their rifugio was also full. It would be another option that could be appended to Gillian's accommodation suggestions.
From the pass, the track descended in woodland before climbing steeply back onto a broad ridge. Lunch was eaten on a promontory with good views and a welcome breeze. Nice cheese and grilled aubergine / courgette sandwich, and a nectarine. That fuelled us for the undulations towards Monte La Nuda, a rocky peak with a derelict tower on top.
By now, cloud was swirling in although the summit still gave views east, and to a rocky ridge. From here, it was 600 metres downhill to our goal, first steeply down, then through woods strewn with boulders. One had evidently crashed through trees and landed on the path - it was huge.
Way marking was good, and we arrived at Passo Cerreto (1253 metres) at 4.45. Mario provided a pot of tea with lemon before we were shown to our rooms - an apartment across the road, where showers and washing were soon in progress."
The Belgians arrived 45 minutes behind us. Quite tired. Dinner at 8 comprised tagliatelle with mushrooms, pork chop and chips, tiramisu and coffee. There are just the six of us plus two other diners. The motor cyclists we saw when we arrived have all left. The Belgians have been put in the dungeon. We are on the second floor.
Today's picture shows Sue, Cary and Graham on the Apennine ridge shortly after we reached it this morning.