Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Day 8 - From Verres to Pont St Martin 16.7 km

Tuesday 17th September
Quite windy today, sunshine though!
I forgot to mention yesterday an exciting event! the hostel had a washing machine and dryer! so while we were having our dinner our clothes were getting a proper wash! Handwashing just isn't quite the same as a proper wash!
We set off and - walk through villages so full of ancient homes, alleyways and doors that beg to be explored...

As the guide book says "A walking tour rich in attractions" in Arnad, you can admire the beautiful parish church of San Martino!

Sadly The church was closed.

so we could only see beautiful carved doors and frescos outside

Patrick contemplating the accuracy of the GPS

Lots of lovely shrines at many corners and crossroads again today, some maintained regularly with fresh flowers, some looking abandoned.

Some shrines have frescos
Some reconstruction is occurring in some of the villages - think Patrick could have asked to be the stone mason's apprentice! We need some rock walls at home... I've been day dreaming about some new building projects inspired by what we've been seeing....
I didn't take quite as many photos today - only about 50... I've been taking up to 100 each day so far! 
Writing the blog has helped me to keep my thoughts, memories and the photos a bit organized! I can write the blog and add photos using the blogger app offline, very handy.

Walked over the lovely old bridge at Echallod

Then walked through the lovely village of Hone, 

where we found a Panateria and bought some rolls, ham and cheese, tomatos and fruitta for a picnic lunch. The lovely lady in the Paneteria said we'd have a molto tranquila walk now... not many ups and downs like the last few days!
you can see the fort of Bard in the distance from the village of Hone.

The fort of Bard is huge! must have housed many people in its prime. 

The bridge and village of Bard is itself also beautiful.

The entrance into the village of Bard

Love these hand forged door latches!

and, this water fountain is one of my favourites, there are water fountains with fresh spring and snow melt water in all the villages.

the entrance to the village of Donna, along the Roman street of  the Gauls, amazing to imagine how many thousands of feet and carriage wheels have travelled thought this archway to create such grooves into the solid rock!

We often see amazing little frescos such as this on the walls of old houses.
Every possible piece of land here is terraced, and growing vines, and vegetables, often with the vegetables growing under the grape vines to maximize space.

We walk through Pont Saint Martin, over the Roman bridge. 

This is an area with such a narrow valley floor, it's full of watch towers and castles along its length. You could spend weeks exploring them all. (you can see the remains of another one on the hill above the Pont St Martin Bridge.)

We arrive at our accommodation just the other side of Pont St Martin, phone Angela, she arrives with a key to let us into the lovely, large hostel - we are the only 2 guests! I've been corresponding via email with Phillipe, a pilgrim who is a few days ahead of us, he's been giving us tips and an evaluation of the accommodation options, so helpful!

View of the terraced vines from the Hostel balcony

I unpack, ready to,have a shower and...
Mio Dio!! mamma mia! I can't find my little bag with all my gadget chargers ... I phone the hostel from last night and eventually we understand each other, she goes to look... and yes, I've left it in the room. So we take the train (lucky the village is on the rail line!) from Pont St Martin back to Verres, our 6 hour walk becomes a 10 minute train ride! while we're waiting for the return train, we have a bierre in the railway bar, wow, our Australian Railway bars could learn a few things! they're actually lovely places to have a drink, snack and wait for a train in Italy! We're served a little plate of snacks, pastry, meat and bread with our drinks.
dinner tonight - at the Chez Neyouz near the railway station. I order antipasti ( tomatoes, mozzarella, basilico) and pasta e fagioli alla Napoletana. Patrick orders pizza.

Accommodation Pont St Martin
recommended by Philippe,
youth hostel near the boulodrome, on via schigliatta,  number 4?   located 800 m away from the town centre, it is however on the trail for the following day.   A stunning youth hostel, very modern at 15 Euro per night for a bed. Telephone Angela on 03472232039
Angela then kindly phoned and booked ahead for us at Ivrea the Canoa Club - 12 Euro per bed or 15 incl breakfast The  canoa club hostel on via Dora baltea,  just across the river.  Tel 03280999579 Angela from Pont St Martin phoned to book for us tomorrow, arrive about 4 pm

Address: Via Schigliatta, 1 - Pont Saint Martin (AO)
Phone: 0125 804433/0125 830611 / cell. 347 2232039
Email: info@comune.pontsaintmartin.ao.it
Type: Forestiera municipal
Open: All year round
Price: € 15 room only.
Number of places: 54
Use of kitchen: no. 

PARISH St. Peter in Chains
Address: Via Roma, 81 - Donnas (AO)
Phone: 0125 807032
Type: Religious Structure
Open: All year round
Price: OFFER. Bed and breakfast.
Number of places: 6
Use of kitchen: no.

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