left margin

The admirable time we had kept during the morning slipped from us as it took twice as long as it should have done to get down. Slower and slower we went, until we were having to rest every hundred meters or so. Alf and Martha, who were both feeling a little under the weather, coasted on down in their own time. They looked as if they had been on the terrace sunbathing all afternoon by the time we staggered into view. Luxury: beer, showers, dinner, real beds, electricity. There is nothing quite like going without civilization's creature comforts for a few days to sharpen ones appreciation of the little things in life.

Figure 9: Looking back on the morning's work

While Martha and Claudia went upstairs for the first round of showers, Alf and I sampled a couple more beers. The old barman impressed me by predicting, and therefore collecting the constituents from the fridge while he was gathering my order, what he was going to need for the next customers (who had just come through the door).

Figure 10: Sheep give us the hairy eyeball on the edge of Bocca di Stagnu


He chatted to us about the next day's walk. He said that the Col Perdu was no problem, and since we had been worrying about that since we started, this was consoling news indeed. In fact, he said that it was not going to be as hard as today. In which case, we were over the hump. Otherwise we will be over it tomorrow night.

We ate a luxurious dinner of soup, tomato and tuna salad, chicken with pea, carrot and bacon stew, grapes and cheese. But I was finding it impossible to keep warm. Since I am generally the last person in the room to get cold, and everyone else seemed ok, this was not good. I went to bed straight after supper, leaving the others to divide up the provisions we had posted to ourselves.

8 - 9 - 10