GEA Day 1 Passo di Viamaggio

Good first day but a lot longer and tougher than I had anticipated and by the time we arrived at the hotel, at about 7.15, what little light there had been on a grey misty day had finally disappeared. I was knackered, Chris was shattered.

Another case of slightly dodgy planning. John Proud had left a comment on an early blog telling me that the buses don't run up from Sansepolcro to the start of the GEA on a Sunday but I didn't really check to see how long it would take to walk on the trail up to route. Well it takes about 4 hours, longer if, like us, you miss some of way marks. We didn't actually hit the GEA until 1.30 with the sign helpfully telling us we still had 5 hours 30 minutes to walk. Instead of the anticipated 7 hour trip we were walking for nearly 10.
Bad news - still 5 hours 45

Sansepolcro is a classic old Italian walled town. Ancient stone buildings, narrow roads and little squares. I'm not sure if I can recommend the Sara B & B where we stayed. No breakfast on Sunday and, right in the middle of the old town on Saturday night, it was very noisy. I was also savaged by mosquitoes although I can't really blame the accommodation for that.

So what did I think of my first day on the GEA. Well I was impressed. The way marking was excellent and we hardly ever had to resort to the map. This part of the walk, along a ridge heading north west, is mainly through trees, but old oak and beech trees and very pretty. The paths weren't steep but particularly with the slog up from Sansepo I guess we climbed for more than 1500 metres.

The weather today was hot and humid early on and cooler grey and misty as we got higher. The weather and the trees limited the views but we did get to see to the west across the valley towards Sansepolcro and to the east down a steep cliff into a gorge.

It was also definitely an autumn forest walk, the leaves are falling from the trees and huge fungi are growing everywhere. The weather only added to that waiting for winter feeling, particularly the mist which seemed to get stuck in the trees.

The hotel at the Passo di Viamaggio, the Hotel Imperature, was special, very rustic, good food and with a nice crowd of hunters and walkers. We met three different groups of walkers, all German, and walking a St Francis pilgrim trail.

So despite it being longer than anticipated, I thought today was a good first day. Chris is definitely knackered (we were also a bit short on the food water front) so I'm hoping his powers of recovery are good. He was very keen to go to bed.

With any luck tomorrow will be surprise free, a massive 8 hour 30 minute day but with no surprises.

1 comment:

  1. Great to hear that you are on your way. Hopefully the forests [there are a lot in the first week!] will be turning to Autumn colours, and just think of all that lovely tagliatelle funghi you can eat to replenish your calories.
    Think you will find that tomorrow will be a long day, stop at Caprese Michelangelo if knackered.
    Looking forward to this series of posts. Enjoy.
    John Proud