Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019
On the Archduke's Path in Mallorca

Monday, 4 August 2008

Monday 4 August 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 41 - The Lazy English

A 'fountain' in Planaval - we encountered these throughout the IBR route

Plan: (Day 42) Rest Day

Actual: Nothing.

Best bit: Doing nothing.

Cumulative to date (planned in brackets):
609 km (583), 43400 metres ascent (43300), 221 hours (roughly!) walking (235).
No of summits visited: 10
No of cols or passes visited: 72
Highest point: Rocciamelone - 3528 metres
Hours waterproofs worn: 2.5


Nick - Thanks for doing a fine job as our booking agent over the past week. Very helpful indeed. And we hope the interview went well.

Grandad Mark - Congratulations!

Gayle - Go buy it, you won't regret it.

Notchy with the cricked neck - Sorry about that, and thanks for the News. BTW, how about some 8 am rendezvous in September, ending with pub lunches?

Alan - No shops here. Just a bar. You would love it.

Roman - Your request is noted. Actually I think I was in one of the recent photos. More may follow if I can persuade my chef to extend her role!

This morning we waved goodbye to Nicholas, who was heading east on AV2. He will find it much quieter than the Tour of Mont Blanc (TMB), the line of people from which he has just escaped. In fact he found yesterday just a bit too quiet, having lost the AV2 path with nobody else around. Sensibly, he retraced his steps, got a lift with some mountain wardens, and bussed it to Planaval. We will try to do the reverse of his 'failed' route tomorrow, or (after chatting to Pascale, the helpful French guide) we may take a shorter route referred to by Kev Reynolds.

The TMB sounds a dire place to be in August.

There is no alimentari in the bijou village of Planaval, so restocking would involve a bus trip up the valley. Easier, for The Lazy English, to go full board for today and order a packed lunch for tomorrow.

The Paramont Hotel is excellent. Lunch was delightful (it triggered the BTW to Notchy), and it's a good day to spend an afternoon slumbering in a deck chair in the Alps, outside a well stocked bar.

French language note:
I was critical yesterday of the greetings in French in this part of Italy. I was unaware then of the Special Statute of 26 February 1948, granting (inter alia) equal importance to the French and Italian languages in the Aosta Valley. Please accept my apologies if I offended anyone.

Kit News:

Sue's boots - she's now mainly in trainers.
Sue's Leki Ultralight walking poles - a handle came unstuck - gaffer tape now secures it.
FreeLoader - one of the solar panels has a mind of its own and works only intermittently.
Asolo Fugitive boots (new for the trip) - leak like sieves and the laces will need replacing.
Coleman gas cylinders - increasingly unreliable - they can exhibit great reluctance in releasing their contents.
Tilley hat - should just about last the trip but is trying hard to separate into two pieces.
Toilet paper - it ran out.

Unsung heroes:
Leki Makalu Classic walking poles - bought 12 years ago as an antidote to a cruciate ligament failure, these are still going strong, albeit on their third tips.
Rucksacks - GoLite Quest - excellent, very comfy, durability not yet proven; Karrimor Jaguar - goes on for ever, despite an annoying squeak.
Pot cosy and windshield - both excellent - our thanks go to Podcast Bob for supplying the materials.

Anyone wishing to view our summary and detailed itineraries, or our kit lists, should use the link to the Phreerunner blog - An Italian Border Route (GTA) from the home page of

Next Day
Back to Index


Gayle said...

1. Just in case I slip and get interested in walking this route (although I've got a lot of others on the wish list first (first come first served basis and all that)) -how important is a working knowledge of the Italian language? The sorting out of logistics in Italy sounds very scary to someone like me who has no knowledge of the language at all (yet...).

2. Asolo Boots: Mick found himself buying a new pair of Asolo Prism's just before half way through our walk, as his previous pairs had suddenly become too small. They were leaking like sieves within a very short time and the soles were definitely not well adhered. Walking behind him I could see water and air being squeezed from between upper and sole every step of the way over wet ground.

3. Tilley Hat: At least you can claim your free replacement once it's worn out!

wuxing said...

Hi Gayle,

Not sure M&S's experience but after calling several rifugio's and refuges in the past week I know a little Italian and French help - e.g 'due persone', 'venti agosto'. Clearly the more you know, the better, but I wouldn't let this put you off.


PS - On a totally separate note, I was curious to find out more about the pot cosy. Backpacking Light have done well - when I googled 'pot cosy', their website came up in #1 spot!