Day 35 – Tuesday, September 3rd – Aosta to Chatillon – 30km
I slept better than the night before, but not great. Part of me wonders if I will ever sleep well again. I started waking up a lot during the night before the Camino. Anyway.
I think I actually planned things pretty well. I ate my breakfast on the balcony because the bread was extremely crumbly and messy. I broke off as much of the crust as I could before eating it. I probably chose the wrong bread.
Then I got packed up and was heading downstairs at 7:34! Pretty good!
It turned out to be 45 E per night. The website said 40, but.. not a big deal.
I headed back through town. It was interesting to see it early, before everything was open and tons of people were out. It was just the morning commuters.
I knew today was supposed to be long and hard, so I did make an effort to walk slightly faster than normal. The whole thing that started this, was a couple a day ahead of the couple at dinner, had sent an email saying it was really difficult. They left at 6:30 and arrived at 4. So the couple at dinner changed plans and decided to take a bus part way (I just found out they decided to walk the whole way but it took them almost 12 hours!) I really didn’t see how it could be that bad, but honestly, bad is relative. Hard is relative. Hot is relative. It’s all relative.
The worst part for me was there was so much more road walking than I’ve been doing recently. I think there’s going to be a lot of it in my future. I don’t like this part.
But I set out a good clip, which was easy, because it was on roads. Roads might hurt the feet, but they are quick walking. There was a hot air balloon that was in most of my pictures for the first hour or so.
The first 6k was roads, then it finally turned off onto a gravel road, dirt path around the side of the mountain. There was a little bit of going up steeply to get there, but it was short and wasn’t bad.
I started walking by some vineyards on the mountain. I looked up ahead and saw my first pilgrim! Well, maybe, I wasn’t really sure. It was a pretty small pack, but she did have a walking stick.
I caught up to her, and yes, she’s a pilgrim! She’s Italian, but living and working in Ireland. So she spoke English with an Irish accent. It was pretty interesting. She’s on vacation; walking for a week and then visiting her family.
We walked together for a bit, but then she told me to go on ahead because she was slower.
The first 12k went pretty quickly, alternating between regular roads and gravel roads.
I reached Nus around 11. It’s kind of the midway point between Aosta and Chantillon, but it would have been way too early to stop!
I was wondering when it was going to get difficult.
I was blowing my nose and a lot and coughing. I think the 85%-90% is still accurate. I still feel ok. Hopefully it stays that way.
The whole day was walking along the side of the mountain, further down the valley. Sometimes you could see the view and sometimes you couldn’t. I went through a lot of little villages. I didn’t get to see inside any churches.
I only had to pee once!
It did get pretty hot, but supposedly it was only the low 70s, and getting up to 80. Compared to being in the mountains, it felt pretty hot. I’m not looking forward to hotter weather.
About an hour before getting into Chatillon, I was going up a fairly long hill, and I saw a pilgrim ahead. I wondered if it was Roland, and it was! We chatted for a bit, but I quickly left him behind.
There was a bit more up and down in the last part, but really, it wasn’t that bad. I wonder if the couple at dinner would have thought it was bad. How much of it is mental? How much of it was difficult because the book said it would be? But, if you’re starting from GSB, then you really haven’t gone up at all, so I could see how that would make a difference.
I honestly have not had many days that were easier than today. Yeah, today was long, and kind of hot, but technically… super not difficult. It’s all relative.
I got to Chatillon, but it was another long walk to the hotel. Ugh. Too bad it’s not closer to the route and to town. But I got to the hotel just after 2, which makes 6.5 hours of walking 30k. Really not too bad.
I like the hotel room a lot. The bed is a little hard, but I hope it will be ok. There is a restaurant with the hotel but of course it’s closed tonight, and the lady doesn’t think there’s anything nearby. I did see a market, so maybe I’ll just get something from there for dinner. It’s that or trying to find something in town which may or may not exist, but by the time I find out the market will be closed. Idk. I don’t need to eat in a restaurant every night.
I decided to combine the next two days and make another long day. I booked a place on a new app, and I got confused. It said it was going to pay with paypal, but then after booking, it said I needed to send banking information. I sent a conversation to the host, so I don’t know how badly I’ve messed up or how easy it will be to fix. It’s probably pretty easy. Hopefully.
So this bed ONLY has a top sheet. No blanket! I was excited because there’s a fan, but I doubt I’ll need it. Usually there’s a blanket hiding in the closet, but there’s no closet! I am bemused.
I booked to Ivrea, then I went to the store. I was going to get a sandwich, but then I decided to get a thing of bread and one of those mayo salads and make a bigger sandwich. I really should have gotten a known entity, like the tuna and artichoke, that one was probably good. Instead I got the “whimsical salad” with mystery ingredients, because, how bad could it be? I also got a rice salad, and a chocolate cake. The whole thing was 9.20. I would get the rice salad again. It was actually really good and probably fairly healthy. The whimsical salad was way too strong on the mayo, and it kind of tasted like pickled veggies in mayo. It’s my sister Kirsten’s 50th birthday, and she likes pie, so I wanted to get a pie. I ended up with a chocolate cake. I didn’t eat the whole thing, but close. I will regret that when the sugar makes me hurt more. Happy Birthday, Kirsten!
It is also the 4 year anniversary of me starting to walk from Le Puy.
Next time I have to get food from the grocery, hopefully I will make slightly wiser choices.
I’m actually feeling pretty good and walking better than I thought I would be after pushing it so much today. I think maybe the extra magnesium and potassium was a good thing.