After a satisfying dinner and breakfast at the Refugio Santicchio it was time to head off again. I was very pleased to able to have muesli for breakfast. The fancy hotel in Bagno where I stayed didn’t have cereal of any kind let alone muesli!
This is the largest sized Bialetti coffee maker you can get and it takes 20 minutes to make the coffee . This Dutch woman and a friend were heading towards La Verna.
The Refugio even had a working juke box with 1980s hits .
Rita the dog likes to follow hikers leaving the place for a nice very long walk so precautions must be taken.
I’m slowly heading downhill though today I climbed 800m and descended 1,000m so there was still plenty of climbing.
This guy on a mountain bike stopped for a chat . He’d seen a TV show about Australia and was impressed by how our wildlife and agriculture is protected by border controls.
Pilgrim walks usually have lots of pyramids where stones are placed on top of each other over time by people passing by. However here someone has made it into a bit of an art form.
Today there was mud, lots of mud from recent rain.
Sometimes I could get around it with a bit of bush bashing but other times it was a matter of trying to find the best way through.
I was sitting in a log having my lunch when someone came down the track . ‘Are you collecting or walking’ he asked me. It turned out he was looking for the Prugnolo mushrooms that I’d come across a few days back in Cucercoli. He said around here they fetch up to €70 a kilo.
When he heard how far I’d walked, he wanted a get a photo with me so I got one too.
I started seeing some of the typical Tuscan village architecture.
as well as some substantial buildings all very solidly built.
Here are a few cute little ant hills – a bit different to the huge ones we get n Australia!
There was lots of forest with little creeks and waterfalls today .
An old post box dating back to when Italy had a King.
Ruins at the hamlet of Giona, a place mentioned in the 13th century manuscript that this walk is based on, as a stopping place for pilgrims.
These people were collecting chicory. I’m sure the wild stuff is very tasty though quite bitter.
This farmer helped me with directions and mentioned that he’d mown part of the VRG with his tractor a few years back.
The interesting thing for me was that he grows saffron . I didn’t know it was grown in Italy.
In the pine forest.
I reached my agriturismo after about 7 hours walking. My room has a great view.
The people here have two Australian cattle dogs that love fetching their ball but fight over who will bring it back.
Tomorrow I’ve got a longish 34km but fairly flat walk down to the beautiful town of Arezzo.