21.6 km today.
3.7 km/h average today.
5 hours 54 mins walking time.
226.8 km this trip.
3441.8 km from start.
209 metres minimum height.
340 metres maximum height.
61 metres ascent.
205 metres descent.
Track Log: Logged.
Travel: Train, Train.
Downhill all day. It snowed! Tried to abort the walk at Pietrabissara but there were no trains due to the weather. Completed the walk when it cleared a bit.
The 06:00 to Arquata Scrivia departed on time. Neil got out at Ronco Scrivia.
It was already raining in Genova at 05:45. At first light when Neil started walking it was tipping down. A pharmacy thermometer read 4 C. It must be broken. But when cars kept passing covered with snow, perhaps it was true. Of course these cars must have come down from higher ground.
The weather worsened and thunder and lightning were added to the mix. The rain turned to sleet and eventually to snow. This was odd because it was getting colder at lower altitudes. At Pietrabissara, less than half way to the planned destination, the road was slippery and vehicles were throwing forceful sheets of slush in all directions. Time to abort. The station had no indoor area and there were no other passengers waiting. Time passed and the first train failed to appear. More time passed and the second train failed to appear. Eventually a muffled loudspeaker announcement said something about suspended services due to the weather and trains restarting later. It was time to abort the abort. In fact the weather had cleared a little and the slush was melting. Snow in this area must be common as there are many road signs relating to winter tyres and snow chains.
At Rigorosso, the next station, the storm had almost gone. There was now no question of aborting. Matters improved further with the purchase of a loaf of bread and a small pizza. Refueled and keeping up a good pace to keep warm, the planned destination, Serravalle Scrivia loomed into view at about mid day.
The train home was only a few minutes late and by 13:30 Neil was thawing out in a cool shower, gradually raising the temperature until it was warm and steamy. The hotel room is festooned with drying rucksacks, umbrellas, fleeces and socks. The all terrain sandals handled the slush very well but real snow would be more of a problem. The walk was completed without a proper sit-down break.
There was one other slight complication on this day. With over a week without milk, it seemed a good idea to get some to go with the previous day's evening meal. This caused a minor digestive upset with great amounts of wind and almost dry farts. The greater part of this episode was over by the morning. If you are wondering about the rogue spike in the downhill all day altitude plot, this was a diversion off the main road, under the railway and up a wooded hill side path, to locate a safe place to deflate without disaster. Indeed the precaution was necessary as the deflation was almost but not quite dry. Leaving no evidence in the woodland and with clean undies, the walk could continue in greater comfort.