Day 50 – Saturday, 21 September – Cassio to Cisa Pass – 22 km
So we figured out the Emilio mystery. It was actually the Emile with Terri! They had accidentally booked for the wrong night. They showed up last night and the ostello was full, so they put them on cots somewhere else. Kind of funny.
Last night was cold. I wore my tights to dinner. But then at night, under the covers, it wasn’t as cold as it was during the afternoon. I don’t know why that happens.
Yesterday might have been good for my mind and soul, but it wasn’t so good for my body. I woke up at 1 in quite a bit of pain, and again at 5:30. I was able to take something and go back to sleep. I’d set my alarm for 7:30, so I just kept going back to sleep every time I woke up. So I still consider it a good night’s sleep.
Breakfast was amazing. There was so much to choose from. I had bread, butter, and jam, just like in France. But not as good as France. Then I had some cereal with yogurt. There were oranges to make fresh juice, which I did. Then there were these big, fat cookie things on the table, so I had two of them slathered in Nutella. There was also peanut butter, so I said something about having them (Nutella and peanut butter) together, and the Europeans were absolutely appalled. I said, “have you never tried it?” And she said, “and I never will,” and the guy said, “because we’re normal people.” Is chocolate and peanut butter such a foreign concept in Europe?
While we were in the breakfast room, we saw a huge group of people coming down the street. I went out to see what it was. We thought they were pilgrims at first, but they had little packs. They were Italians from Parma doing some day hiking. But they were super excited about the Via Francigena and seeing an ostello and pilgrims, so they wanted me to take their picture for them in front of the ostello.
I saw Gavin and Jill already starting down the road.
I was on my way about 8:45.
It was a beautiful, sunny, cool day. Perfect for hiking in the mountains.
It was a bit on the road at first, but it turned off onto a rocky path. There was a hill that just kept going up and up and up. It did give a good view back toward Cassio. I could see the Giant’s Teeth someone was talking about.
I caught up with Gavin and Jill in a little town and walked with them for a while.
They had been passed by the big Italian group, which was very noisy, so they were trying to give them some space ahead. It didn’t work very well, because we caught them up again, but then we stayed ahead.
We got into Berceto just before noon. It looks like a nice little town, but we were happy with Cassio. There was a castle ruins, so I went up to take a look. It gave a nice view of the town.
The church was nice and simple.
Gavin and Jill sat down for a coffee. I sat down for a bit, but then continued on my way.
On the way out of town there was another open church that I stopped in.
We had been talking before that today had the option of going up to the top of a mountain to see some views. Looking at the map, the two options separated before the pass, then converged on the pass. I thought the ostello was at the pass. I decided to go up the mountain. It really wasn’t much more of a climb, and it was a lovely walk.
I got to the top and sat for a bit. The ostello was supposed to open at 3. I started down about 2:20.
I got into the town and didn’t see anything that said it was an ostello. There were a ton of bikers. Mountain roads are very popular with motorcycles.
I went to see the lovely church and climbed the many stairs. It’s unlike any church we’ve had so far. Very nice.
There were some poles resting outside the door, but there were no pilgrims inside. Someone left their poles there.
There was a little souvenir shop at the bottom of the stairs, so I stopped in there to ask where the ostello was. The ladies gave me blank looks, which really wasn’t good. Then one of them said, “ah, ostello! It’s 2k back down the road. Big red building, you can’t miss it.” Of course. I did remember reading that the thing said it was 2k before the pass. Ugh. So I walked an extra 4K today.
I have been using maps.me for the path, but I really need to remember to use the Via Francigena app for the location of the ostellos. If I had used it today and two days ago, I would have saved myself from walking an extra 7k. I’m such an idiot.
I walked down the road with all the motorcycles whizzing past.
I got to the ostello a little before 4. There was a guy outside, and as I walked up, he said, “Elizabeth!” And I said, “yes!”
He took me up and showed me my room. There are two beds. Then I got all worried because my reservation wasn’t under “Elizabeth” it was under “Paul” for two. So then I was thinking I had Elizabeth’s room, but I really didn’t want to share with Paul lol. I was able to use my app to explain, but they said it was all good. Paul had checked in earlier, so he told them I was coming, and we were in different rooms.
There is no WiFi or reception here. I only have tomorrow booked, so it makes it a little difficult. Maybe they have a recommendation for the next stage. They seem very nice here.
It was so cold. I was huddled in my bed under two blankets. I could hear a dog outside whining, so after about 45 minutes I finally said, ok, I’m gonna so see if I can pet the dog.
The dog is in a kennel about 70 meters away from the house. When I started getting close he barked his head off. When I started to turn away he would whine. The poor thing is obviously starved for attention and neglected. His ribs were showing a bit. I kept getting closer and turning away. The third time I got within 5 feet, and he started biting the fence. Then would whine when I walked away. Dogs deserve so much better.
Dinner was supposed to be at 7:30, but it didn’t start until 8 and went way too late. I was too tired and too hungry. The first course was some kind of chestnut fritter, cheese, and raw ham, which is like eating raw bacon. I could only have one piece.
Second course was gnocchi or zucchini soup. I was afraid it was the main course, so I had the gnocchi. I ate most of it. I ate all that no one else ate. Then there was some meatballs and beans, which was good and salty. Then a piece of cake for dessert. It just went too long.
I went out and asked to pay so I could go to bed. Tomorrow is supposed to rain, so they said it’s better to walk down the road instead of walking down the mountain path. I have walked down enough mountain paths that I am inclined to take the road. I’ll see in the morning.
My room is on the third floor, and going up the stairs after dinner my knee twinged really badly. Ugh. I do not need any more injuries or more difficulties.
I am so tired. It’s 10. Dinner went way too late.