Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

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

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Thursday 7 August 2008 - An Italian Border Route (IBR) - Day 44 - An Epicurian Adventure


Plan: (Day 45) Rest Day based at

Actual: Usual rest day stuff, plus our first internet café.
6 km, 80 metres ascent, 1 hour (linking Courmayeur centre with the Hotel Aigle in Entrèves).

Best bit: Will be tonight's meal. And I had the pleasure of posting a message showing some of our favourite flowers - houseleeks - it's here.

Cumulative to date (planned in brackets):
653 km (620), 46200 metres ascent (46100), 236 hours (roughly!) walking (249).
No of summits visited: 10
No of cols or passes visited: 74
Highest point: Rocciamelone - 3528 metres
Hours waterproofs worn: 2.5
No of English encountered whilst walking: 0

Logging into our comments on the blog today brought us great pleasure and surprise. We are chuffed that Gillian Price has 'found us' and very disappointed to have missed her by two days at Terme di Valdieri. We have a lot to thank Gillian for - not to mention her kind comments. We would not be here on this wonderful route had she not written her GTA book, and we would also like to thank her for the route ideas she has supplied in the past for our numerous trips to the Dolomites.

Gillian - it would be great if you could contact us through the 'topwalks' website (see below) so that when we get home we can provide any further information that may be helpful. It's interesting how little things can affect places, eg:
Campo Base - you rate it highly, but this year a disinterested junior assistant has blighted the place.
In contrast, the enthusiasm of a junior assistant at Malinvern has rubbed off on the guardian.
Obviously these places change from year to year and no guide book can keep up - these were the two most striking changes we noticed. Please do maintain this 'human (and goat!) element' in your guide books - it adds a dimension that we and the Germans we encountered very much enjoyed.
Incidentally, we haven't used any other guide book, just what I could glean from Kev Reynolds' 'Walking in the Alps' tome. It's not clear from that whether some routes need an ice axe, and we still aren't sure whether our original plan - Chivasso to Benevolo to Bezzi - would have worked without axes. Certainly an axe each would have turned the tricky Passo di Planaval crossing into a doddle!
Maybe we'll have to buy your Gran Paradiso book to find out.

I'm not sure what epicurian (or is it epicurean?) actually means. Perhaps Alan will explain. He's usually correct, so I assume we are having such an adventure. On the basis that it either involves choosing pleasures of the mind over pleasures of the body, or the pleasure of consuming good food, I think that both criteria will be met today. We are currently salivating over the following menu for tonight's meal. There's no choice - you have to eat it all.

Giovedì 7 Agosto - menù del giorno:

Trancio di pizza
Zuppa montanara di legumi
Coniglio alla cacciatora con purè di patate
Insalata mista
Strudel di mele

Plus a drop or two of vino, I suspect...


Gayle - I know only the few words of Italian that Sue taught me during the TGO Challenge - I got some rather blank looks when greeting people 'buongiorno'! Sue bought a BBC 'teach yourself' CD and has managed fine. Go on, buy Gillian's book!
The Asolo boots are so, so comfy. I'm annoyed with myself for not bringing sealskinz socks. The boots have exactly the same defect as Mick's though, so I'll take them back when we get home. Watch this space!
My Tilley is already a replacement - it has lasted about 3 years. Good job for Tilley's sake that I'm getting old and decrepit!
(Hope we can meet you and Mick for a stroll in South Cheshire or Staffs when we get back.)

Nick - the pot cosy is indeed a clever piece of kit for this sort of trip. It saves a lot of laborious stirring, as well as gas. Our gas cylinders are lasting over a week.

Notchy - thanks for the News. Enjoy the beach volleyball.

We are soon back to the pleasures of camping, and the ever helpful Tourist Information staff - in this case Daniela at Courmayeur - have established that we don't need to book the next two camp sites. The people in the guides café were also very helpful - the café houses the only internet computer available to the public in Courmayeur, and that took some considerable time to 'fire up'. Spam has now been deleted - difficult from this phone - so there is space for many more blog comments - copies of which go to the webmail.

Today we walked to and fro from Courmayeur, 3 km away, which compensates for us not carrying our rucksacks and allows us to continue our journey from here tomorrow.

That's it. We have the rest of our 'rest day' and a fine meal to enjoy.

A beer awaits.


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

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Alan Sloman said...

'Epicurean' it is too! You Bon Viveurs & Gourmands.

Have a great time.

Phreerunner said...

Thanks Alan - this is a great spot - you should pay Alessandro a visit!