Wednesday, May 21, 2014

San Andrea Dei Bagni to Cassio May 22

                                                                            Current Day                  Trip to date

Total Distance Walked- miles                                  13.9                             108.3

Gross Climb feet.                                                    3980                              6735

Net Climb feet.                                                         2132                             2278

Song of the Day:  River Deep mountain High by Ike and Tina Turner:

Oh yeah you've gotta believe me

River Deep, Mountain High

Note:  Amazing Grace ("I was lost, but now I'm found, I was blind, but now I see") has been given permanent status in the song of the day category due to the fact that we have gotten lost every damn day!

Today was another very challenging hike, with several extreme, almost inhumane,  climbs.  At a gross climb of 3980 feet, this may be the most we have climbed in one day.   Combined with yesterday's climb of 2000 feet, and tomorrow's climb of 3000 feet, this will turn out to be a very strenuous 3 days of hiking.  Amazingly though, our bodies have made it through so far in relatively good shape.  Other than a few blisters which we seem to be managing ok, we are doing well.  

We got an early start on the day, and hit the trail at 7:30.  Fortunately, we had a terrific breakfast at our hotel, one of the best we have had on this trip.  I say fortunately, because we encountered no services of any sort along the walk today.  We did rest once for a few minutes on a bench in front of a church in a small town, but there were no restaurants, bars, etc along the way.

The first town we passed through was Felegara.  The name of this town reminds of either a symptom that an old person would get ("how you doing Grandpa"?  "Oh, not to bad, but my Felegara is acting up again...") or perhaps some weird mating ritual of a South Pacific island that suddenly becomes the latest dance craze.

By 9:30, it had become very warm.  We encountered several steep climbs, usually with no shade.  We would walk 200 feet, take a short rest, walk 200 more feet, take another rest, etc. Between the heat and the steep incline, it was truly exhausting.  However, it began to cool down around noon, and by 1:00, it had begun to sprinkle.  By this time, the walk had entered a jungle like portion, with very narrow, rocky, steep trails.  In several areas, we had to cross over a small river.  On one of the crossings, Linda slipped from the rocks.  Fortunately, other than getting her feet wet, all was ok.

This is a picture from yesterday that I forgot to include.  You see these huge hay bales all over the place:

Taking a short rest along the way:

Crossing several river streams:

Walking through some very steep narrow trails:

Around 3:00, we finally pulled into our hotel.  Just as we were arriving, it started to rain much harder.  It is not a very good hotel, certainly the worst we have stayed in so far.  It would seem the hotel had changed owners and name since we first made the reservations several months ago, which caused lots of confusion.  In any case, it is only one night, and we will leave early in the morning for another hard day.

We finally met our first fellow hiker today!  This is the first time on this trip for us.  Those of you who read our blog from the Camino last year might remember that half our stories about the various people from all over the world that we had met on the trail.  Until this afternoon, we had not met nor seen one hiker.  This afternoon, while having a drink in a bar at our destination, we met Christian from Germany, who is walking the Via by himself. Amazingly, he started the walk from his home in Munich, Germany almost 3 weeks ago, and we were the first hikers he had met as well!  We ended up having dinner with Christian tonight.  It was a very pleasant evening and nice to meet a fellow traveler.

Tomorrow will be another challenging day, and we plan to get an early start on things.  We have a 17 mile hike, with about 3000 feet of climb.  The forecast is for rain.  As we will be at an altitude of over 4000 feet, it could get nasty.

Unfortunately, no Internet connection today or tomorrow.  So, this will be a few days late in posting.

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