Plan: Day 26 - Bobbio Pellice to Ghigo di Prali - 18 km, 1900 metres ascent, 7 hours.
Actual: Bus from Torre Pellice to Bobbio Pellice, then a lift to Villanova for GTA stage 19 to Ghigo di Prali, 1455 metres:
14 km, 1300 metres ascent, 6.8 hours including 1.2 hours breaks.
Best bit: Views to Monte Viso at lunch time, over a sea of cloud.
The highlight of the day was the magnificent view towards Monte Viso from our lunch spot at Colle Giulian, 2451 metres. Here's the message we sent at the time. We had spent nearly 3 hours in fairly thick cloud, so it had been a great relief to find the sun beaming down from a blue sky shortly before we reached the col.
Saturday morning: we expected to see a rush of people to the hills on this first day of the Italian holidays. But it took 30 minutes to get a lift out of Bobbio Pellice, then we saw nobody until we were approaching the col. It was a silent ascent past huge mulleins - no birds, cattle, humans or water - just the click of our sticks and the gentle thud of our boots in the 20 metres of world that was visible to us.
We had met a few people descending into the mist, and we joined two Italians and a shepherd on the col with the view. It really was superb.
Notchy's News Service joined us at lunch time, so we now know all about the City supporters' failed attempt to get their trawler to the Faroes, and the terrible twins of Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac.
Notchy is almost as up to date with world events as the cockatoo at Rif Jervis!
Nick's 'Courmayeur Hotel Information Service' also joined us at lunch time, so we had a very bleepy time. Thanks for this service, Nick, we didn't realise that you were about to go to Shanghai, but you know what they say about busy people. (Seems like you are trying to compensate for our current lack of carbon footprint.)
The descent to Ghigo was steep but uneventful albeit back to the usual array of floral colour, with an increase in activity as we approached the village confirming that the Italian holidays have indeed started.
After our experience with the full refuge at Rif Baillif-Viso the other day, we thought the Posto Tappa here may be full. So we got Sara to book us in. On arrival we were immediately recognised and led to our dormitory. The beds are good and the water hot. We are the only people staying in the Posto Tappa, and the first English people they can recall having visited them. Here's our message about the Posta Tappa.
Any other sales of Gillian Price's GTA book appear to have been to armchair readers!
We've heard about the excellence of Posto Tappa meals. We were not disappointed.
We started with two types of pasta - pasta with artichokes, and penne with mushrooms. Then part-cured pork with relish, accompanied by salad and chips and a dish of turkey in a creamy sauce. For dessert, pannacotta/chocolate mousse. Behind us was a shelf of Barolo wines dating back to 1971, and another with a huge selection of grappa.
PS Our 'Year of Constant Summer' continues - but for how long?
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