Monday, 10 September 2007

Day 45 - Berceto - Villafranca - 46km

Still walking, but getting into the routine (push, free glide or walk) and learning how to ignore those testerone fuelled motorbikes. Anyway,we wouldn't miss this for the world - we are climbing up the Cisa Pass (1041 metres), peering over valleys and mountain peaks that we were leaning over backwards to see the top of only a day or so before. This takes some beating - villages perched on cliff edges and once we have crossed the summit, a downhill run on an endless,car free road snaking through every contour of the range. If it wasn't for the severe winters, Paul and I would be looking for a home here.

In Villafranca the bubble bursts, but only because it is such a drab place with so little to offer in the way of interest. We investigate nearby Filetto in our search for the hostel that does not seem to exist anymore and in the process find a few quaint streets along with a knight in armour up an alley, but on the whole it is a section I could pass over and I remember thinking much the same when we skirted it with Lubie last year. But, and this is a huge but, despite my frustrations and fears, we are still making good progress and our current hosts have just told us that there is a large bike shop here in Villafranca. We will go there tomorrow and hopefully sort out the bike once and for all. So watch out Camaiore and Lucy - here we come!

We climbed the 300 meters between Berceto and the summit of the pass using a combination of tracks, again difficult underfoot, and the SS62. With the exception of the motor bikers traffic was light, but watch out if you choose the road at the weekend the bikers treat this stretch of road as their own TT course. Having failed to find the hostel in Villafranca we are in a pleasant B & B and enjoying being able to converse in French instead of our appalling Italian.

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