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Sunday, 15 June 2014

What a difference a day makes or Mary whips off her wet teeshirt

Well folks this was the hardest day yet and on paper it was to be the easiest. This journey is certainly not as organised as the Camino and can be quite confusing. The day started with us leaving Spoleto in bucketing rain ,it was coming down in stair rods, but our spirits were good and we made the hard uphill climb to the famous viaduct. Now some people will know that Mary doesn't appreciate heights and her coping strategy is to put the head down and get across as quickly as possible and I am glad to say that the German group coming across from the opposite direction moved aside before there was an International incident. The path climbed across the mountain as described by the expert in the tourist information in Spoleto, take Umbrian Park path number 3, make turnoff to path 5 and then follow path 8 to Scheggnio, it will be tough but it is only 14K. After several hours of uphill climbing over white stones and dust that had turned to mud we were confronted by a wide river dissecting the path. This was becoming like one of those stupid management courses, how do you get two people and two haver sacks across a raging torrent without getting bloody drowned? You take off your socks and shoes, roll up your trouser legs and walk. After five minutes we were across, wet and tired. As I stood there soaked through from the rain with wet cold feet the expert from the tourist office was lucky that he wasn't near me. I'm not a happy person with wet cold whips clinging to me and murder was on my mind. Believe it or believe it not but things got even worse. We made it on to trail 8 which informed us we were only 1hour from our destination when like magic the trail disappeared. Yes disappeared. Trees, shrubs, wild countryside and no path, so we had no choice but to turn back. It seems that the Umbrian Authorities mean for the paths to be there at some stage but haven't completed them all. Some joke that is and I wasn't laughing. A detour of over 7 miles finally got us to  Scheggnio and the best accommodation ever. I have written tonight after copious amounts of local red wine which has considerably mellowed my mood or you would have been subject to a blog containing very foul and abusive language. Mary god love her just kept her head down, ignored my grumbling but could have been arrested when she stripped out off her wet shirt at the side of the road. But that would be a story for a winter night with large mugs of Irish Coffee.

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