Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Friday, 9 September 2016

Thursday 8 September 2016 - GEA - Passo della Cisa to Passo Due Santi


27.5 km
1550 metres ascent
8 hours 45 mins

Another fine day in the Apennines. 

The €3 breakfast at the Ostello was a help yourself affair, worth about €3. It was an acceptable place to stay though, and by 8.45 we were on the road back up to the pass, about 2.5 km of tarmac - the only significant amount of tarmac on the entire trek.

There was a welcome chocolate shop on the pass, and a church within a church to distract Cary from his continuing uphill struggle. Twelve days trekking without a break was starting to dismantle his recalcitrant knees.

However, lovely forest paths made light going of the saunter up towards Monte Molinatico. But the descent down a rough track with rolling stones was perhaps the least pleasant phase of our entire trek. This warranted a break for lunch under a shady tree shortly before arriving at Passo del Brattello, where the café-restaurant was open and we enjoyed post-lunch ice creams. Cary probably loaded up with more cake for his final afternoon of exertion.

Luckily, the paths traversing unseen Monte Cucco to Passo del Borgaro were through relatively cool, shady woods. Despite meeting a couple of trial bikes - the only people we met today apart from a lone hiker near the start and a company of horsemen near Brattello - the surface for the rest of our walk was pretty good. We enjoyed views towards our evening destination (top picture) and neared a small wind farm that had blighted our view for a while.

Beyond Borgaro the path narrowed as it passed over a rocky crest (middle picture), before reaching a large monument to World War ll partisans overlooking the Taro valley (bottom picture). This truly is Eric Newby country.

By now Cary was flagging so Sue positioned herself just in front of him to try to get him to match her pace, whilst I stayed behind with a poking stick. This seemed to work until Cary's phone rang and he ground to a halt in order to buy a flat! Abandoned on the trail, he nevertheless managed to reach Passo Due Santi before we had got through to La Catinella, 5 km down the road in the village of Patigno, who we had arranged to pick us up.

We still couldn't get through to tell them we'd arrived at the pass. Cary wasn't impressed by the prospect of a further 5 km saunter to Patigno! Sue disappeared off to the rifugio, from where contact with our overnight accommodation was eventually made. We had a further wait at the rather desolate road head at Passo Due Santi and were somewhat relieved when La Catinella's Skoda Roomster finally appeared.

Mario Theresa and Stefano duly welcomed us with the usual pot of tea, beers, excellent rooms and fine food. The ravioli went down particularly well. They remembered guide book author Gillian and asked us to pass on their best wishes.


Julian Glover said...

Still enjoying your Italian itinerary! Must re-read the Eric Newby as well!

afootinthehills said...

Enjoying reading this sitting by Loch Kinord near the muir of Dinnet. Some lovely photographs Martin.

Phreerunner said...

Thanks you two. I hope the midges weren't getting to you, Gibson, and yes, do re-read Eric Newby's book. I'll be blogging shortly about someone who is making a film of a similar story.