Saturday, 21 July 2012

Off the rails...

The last few days, as I forecast, have been nothing other than a hard, gruelling slog making my way through the Apennine Mountains, over the Cisa Pass and out the other side following a severe 1,500 foot near vertical ascent out of Aulla which, in this heat, required a good sense of humour; but with my fellow pilgrim Reto Schilter from Switzerland we, as ever, pulled through - if a little drained as a result.

The terrain has changed once again and Italy is now a place of olive groves and hammered khaki landscapes.

And the reward? After 4 countries, 1,075 miles and 74 days on the go, the Mediterranean and it was, as you can imagine, a very special moment indeed.

Solo again, this finds me on the coast resting in Marina di Pietrasanta, just north of Viareggio; to be beside the sea is so refreshing after the toil of the last few days. Tomorrow I head inland again for Lucca and Tuscanny; another special phase of this
ever remarkable journey. Who said it was downhill all the way from the Alps to Rome?!

Photos: HB in Pontremoli; rucksack looking smarter!; with Reto Schilter after the climb; first sight of the Mediterranean; walking down the coast; donkey of the day.

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