Day 36 – Wednesday, September 4 – Chatillon to Donnas – 34 km
I woke up around 5 and couldn’t get back to sleep. Breakfast was at 7:15, so I was able to get everything ready beforehand.
I went down stairs at 7:15 and the reception and the breakfast area were dark. I had to wait about 20 minutes for the person to show up and get everything ready.
Breakfast was good. There were a lot of options, but a lot of it was sugary, too. I made a croissant sandwich with meat and cheese. I had a few helpings of granola and yogurt, and way too many sweet things.
I was able to check out and be on the way a few minutes after 8. Later than I wanted, but it was ok.
I really didn’t know what to expect with today. Today was rated as “difficult” in the book, but so was yesterday. I am combining two days today. It’s more of a control thing than anything else, I think. I’m finally feeling better, so I don’t want to take two shorter days. Bring on a long day!
I had to go back to town first before I could get on the path, and then it was pretty much straight up hill. Straight up the side of the mountain to get to a place to walk around the side. It was steep, but thankfully not too long. There were some nice views.
There was a sign right at the beginning that said “Verres 5:45”. I really hoped that wasn’t accurate, because I was planning on the entire day being 7-8 hours, and I still had about 15k to go after Verres.
I was hoping it would be a dirt path all the way, but it ended up being a combination of dirt, gravel, and pavement.
I went through some vineyards today as well.
I’m not sure I have a whole lot to say about this part. It was through a lot of little villages on the side of the mountain.
It was cloudy for most of the morning, which was rally nice. I like not having the sun in my eyes. But the sun did eventually come out.
There were some flat bits where I was able to walk fairly quickly, but today was definitely more difficult than yesterday. It some parts it reminded me a lot of the beginning of my walk through France. There was a lot of up and down, and in rocky, mountain paths that you just can’t do quickly. I really enjoyed that part.
I saw a few pilgrims, but I didn’t really talk to any of them. There was a guy I caught up to, that I passed, but he ended up passing me later, walking quite a bit faster. I’m not sure how I caught up to him in the first place.
There was quite a steep climb down out of the mountain before going into Verres.
Verres is an awesome looking place. It would probably be nice to stay here.
From here the path was rated as “easy”. I was hoping that didn’t mean all asphalt.
The path took me along the river for a bit, then back through some towns.
Then back toward the river, and across an old bridge that seemed to be in the middle of nowhere. It seemed like we were being routed in this direction just to cross this bridge. It had originally been from the Middle Ages, but was destroyed and rebuilt. It’s not even that old. It just looks cool.
Then I got to walk for several k on a gravel road next to the major motorway. It was hot, my feet hurt, but I tried to get through that part quickly. I decided I was pretty close to done, so I checked how far I’d come. 29k. Days over 30k are doable, but they really are pretty long.
I got to Hone, which is a cool town. There was a place to stay here, but it was over 60 E, and the place I found in Donna was half that. Actually, 1/4 that. I found out it has a special pilgrim price of 15E. That’s incredibly generous.
After Home was the medieval town of Bard, with the awesome looking Fort di Bard. It was fun to walk through this town.
Then it was down a very steep hill and past an aqueduct thing, then back up the hill.
Donnas is also a very old town. There’s an old stone door in the rock. The place I’m staying, Chez-Annie, is quite outside of town, but it’s still on the Via, that’s very nice.
I got here right at 3:30, which means it was 7:30 of walking, and 34k. It was not an easy day, and I’m glad to be done, but I’m still glad I did it.
I have the whole room to myself. I asked if there was any place to hang wash, and she offered to wash my clothes in her machine. Yes! I’m very excited about that.
I’m trying to figure out my next steps. It’s not as easy as I’d like. There aren’t as many options for staying places, and it’s far between towns. After tomorrow, I could combine another two days for another 35-36k day. Do I want to? I’m not sure. I’d like to figure things out, since there aren’t a lot of options, but I’m also really, really tired. I did wake up at 5. Hopefully that means I’ll sleep well.
The WiFi was working, but it seems to have stopped. Idk if I’ll be able to make a post today or not. Tomorrow I’ll be at a hotel in Ivrea, but hotel WiFi isn’t always reliable, either.
Today was a good day. I felt good. I had a few good cries.
I tried to look at hotels but I was just too tired to think straight or make any decisions. I decided to go eat first and see what happened.
The close restaurant was closed, so I walked to the slightly farther pizzeria. The problem with these pizzerias is that they have like 30+ pizzas on the menu. I sat there for 20 minutes not being able to decide, but during that time I got a little dizzy or something. I figured I really needed to eat.
I finally ordered and also got a side of fries.
It seemed like the pizza came 4 minutes later.
It was really good. I ate it all except for the very end bits of the crust that were burnt.
I also ate my fries.
I went to go pay and the girl was asking if I needed a box. I was like, no, I ate all the things! And the girl who brought my fries was just smiling the whole time.
I did feel better after eating. I think the extreme tiredness was a reaction to needing to eat, but it was also a big day.