Sunday, May 25, 2014

Fidenza to Sant Andrea Dei Bagni May 21

Note:  I accidentally deleted the original posting for May 21. Unfortunately, I did not keep a copy, and so will have to re-do from memory.  Since this was 4 days ago, my memory is not so good!  And, I'm sure I won't be nearly so clever this time around...if any of you kept a copy of the original, can you send it to me?


                                                               Current Day                    Trip to date

Distance traveled-miles.                           19.0.                                  94.4

Gross climb- feet                                      1930                                  2755

Net Climb- feet.                                          110                                    146

Song of the Day:  rolling Hills by Van Morrisoon:

I will do my jig among the rolling hills
I will do my jig and live among the rolling hills

With my pen I'll write my song among the rolling hills

And I'll stand and watch it all among the rolling hills

Here's a PowerPoint version of the day:

We started out the day with an outstanding breakfast at the hotel, one of the better ones we have had on the trip.  This is not a high bar, as the Italian breakfasts tend to be very spartan like.  Perhaps some coffee and a cookie, often with a factory brioche wrapped in celephane.  Today it included juice, yogurt and a few other items.  I loved the little old lady who ran this hotel.  The password for the Internet was nicolo2008.  In Italian, she explained to me that the "nicolo es piccolo" which is to say not capitalized.  It was all very charming.

We left the hotel at 7:30 this morning, and didn't arrive to our next hotel until 4:30, with very few stops along the way. It was a very long day indeed.  

We did stop for a gelato this afternoon around 3:00.  It is a great treat on a warm day.

This was our first day of true climbing.  With a gross climb of 1930 feet, today's total was far more than the cumulative climb of 850 feet over the first 5 days.  This begins the first of 3 very challenging days of hiking.  Tomorrow, we have a climb of 3000 feet, and the next day, 2000 feet as we reach the peak of the Appenine mountain range.  

The net climb for today was only 110 feet, which means that in addition to climbing 1930 feet, we also descended 1820 feet.  Our experience has been that descents can often be as hard on the body as climbing.  Last year, Linda and I both lost toe nails from the down hill portions of our hike in Spain.  If you are curious, it takes 3-6 months to grow back a new nail.

Many of the climbs today were almost inhumanely steep.  We both felt it in our legs by the end of the day.  But all in all, a very beautiful walk across the rolling countryside.  One of the things we particularly appreciated was that much of the walk today was on trails.  For the first several days, most of the walk was on paved roads.  Not only is the hard surface of the highway very hard on the feet, it also tends to be terrifying with the crazy Italian drivers.  We have been constantly fearful for our lives, ducking and dodging the cars. 

Not sure what this picture is all about.  You be the judge.

Tomorrow will be a very challenging day, with a climb of almost 4000 feet.

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