Valley villages, the coll of the passo dei Giovi, mountain flowers, cold, drizzle, old road not too busy, feet and body OK again.
A new train today; the 06:00 to Arquata Scrivia which departed on time. Neil got out at Pontedecimo.
It was first light when Neil started walking. There was lots of birdsong in spite of the dull overcast sky. The route climbed gradually for the first few kilometres. The first bread shop had not had its delivery but the next had some interesting and tasty white loaves. There were extra ingredients making the bread rather nice and doubtless bad for you.
When the road really began to climb, there was a narrow lane which degenerated into a donkey track. This was probably the original route and it was marked on the satnag as a road. You might get a moped up it. There were some steps. It made a nice change from the main road. Back at the big road, there was the track on the far side so leg two of the donkey track. This was not on the satnag but it worked and rejoined the main road shortening a big chunk of the route. Once again there was the track continuing. Leg three of the donkey track quickly degenerated into an overgrown but easily followed path. This was a bad sign. Of course the route was blocked just before rejoining the main road. A clueless developer had built over the historic path destroying another piece of history. A bit of frustrated backtracking was needed and a huge sweep of road negotiated.
After a final slog up to the col of the pass of Jove (Giovi), there were disappointing views of low cloud and hills shrouded in fog and haze. Later it began to drizzle. The spring foliage and May blossom were doing their best to put on a good show. On the inland side of the col, the temperature dropped and there was a cold headwind.
Out of the built-up areas, the mountain flowers were abundant and there are some good photos.
In Busalla it became even colder and the rain started. With a walking break needed, Neil popped into the railway station, played with the ticket machine which was not working and then had a little sit in the heated waiting room, sharing it with another tramp who had had the same idea. After a drink and a chunk of dry but tasty bread it was back onto the road.
The parallel autostrada was carrying almost all the traffic and the old road was not too busy. In the villages there were pavements and between the habitations, the road was mostly wide enough for safe walking. A few of the sharper corners needed a bit of extra care.
The aches and pains of the previous day had gone and the walk was fairly painless. Perhaps the medical teams who support athletes know why there are off days. I put it down to being old and knackered.
In Ronco Scrivia, the ticket machine was not working so it was another 3.30 euro ticket from the guard on the train. Back in Genova it was raining quite hard and still only 9 or 10 C.