Day 4 GEA Campigna

Last night I finally had to admit defeat and accept that tomorrow's planned walk was too long. Because we are staying about five kilometres north of the route today the return trip tomorrow made the day impossible, probably over 11 hours. We have had to find another stop over tomorrow and push all the other bookings back a day. It's hard work if you don't speak Italian. Incidentally I don't speak a word of Italian but Chris somehow speaks less, he seems to think I'm some sort of linguist.

Early morning in Badia Prataglia

As it happened today's walk turned out to be a short 5 hour trip rather than 8 hours as anticipated. We decided to miss out the descent to the monks at Camaldoli and stay high on the ridge but hadn't anticipated such an impact on the timings.
Ancient path to the west of Badia Prataglia
Despite being shorter it was a lovely walk along a great path. We seemed to be following some ancient route, well graded and with some of the original paving was still in place. Leaves on the trail made for comfortable walking and a cold north wind meant we didn't want to hang about, in fact we flew along.

For the first time today I was struck by the smell of autumn as well as its colour. It's a lovely musty damp smell, the smell of gently rotting vegetation, rotting beech leaves in particular. I have already mentioned the fungi but it's impossible to exaggerate how many there are and incredible variety of shapes, colours and sizes. There were some particularly interesting fleshy ones that seemed to be extruding a sticky sweat, if Christine had been here to see them she would have groaned in disgust.
Autumn beech trees

After climbing up through a lovely wooded valley, a nature reserve, to the Passo Fangacci, we hit the ridge and, by avoiding the temptation of the monks and their herbal remedies at Camaldoli, stayed on it all the way to Passo della Calla. Apart from a few people fungi harvesters and a couple walkers coming the other way we had it all to ourselves.

The highest point of the walk was Poggio Scali (1520 metres), huge views across the grey valleys to north. Too misty for a good photograph, too cold to hang about for long, we stayed long enough to eat the huge and excellent roast pork sandwiches we had bought leaving Badia Prataglia.

The next stretch was my favourite, and the best bit for me of the trip so far. The trees, the colours and the trail was just wonderful.

The refuge at La Burraia was shut as were the two hotels in Campigna forcing us three kilometres further into the valley to the Agriturismo Poderone. We arrived in time to share the remnants of a boozy lunch and smells wafting up the stairs suggest that we will get a good dinner. Better still the landlady has been really helpful and found us somewhere to stay tomorrow, just as well as the places I was counting on were shut.

1 comment:

  1. John [and Chris]
    Glad to hear you are enjoying the GEA,the Italians are a friendly nation. Thanks for your posts which take me back to last year.Shame the hotels in Campigna were shut.God knows where you'll end up tomorrow. Easy to Muraglione but then a long way to Col Casaglia. Warned you that the days feel long but I take my hat off to you for you super human efforts so far.
    Post some more photos and what about the evening meals?
    Just opened a bottle Montepulciano -- Cin Cin
    You've some great days ahead of you - don't worry about your schedule.
    John Proud