Sivizzano to Villa di Casola/ Berceto, 13.23km walking
Perhaps we should have listened to the weather. We knew we were in for a hard day, already, with a relentless climb for the first 10 kms. In better weather, it would have been tough, but beautiful.
But the mist, low cloud and constant drizzle deprived us of the views, giving us muddy paths and wet feet instead.
From Sivizzano, we followed the road, climbing steadily to Bardone and on to Terenzo. Where the VF route veered off on a path, a sign advised walkers to keep to the road in bad weather, which we did. However, after Terenzo there was no alternative, as the path and road diverged. We were now in a low cloud on a very steep gravel path that seemed to go on forever. Paul helped keep Lois’ spirits up by describing the book he is reading, The Ink Black Heart by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling). By the time we descended to the hamlet of Castello di Casola, we were pretty wet and getting cold as a wind had whipped up. There was nowhere to get a coffee or even to find shelter. We sat on the edge of a stone wall and had some cheese and crackers and tea from our thermos. The trail plunged steeply downwards from here, water streaming down the path. For a couple of stretches, the path was just a narrow muddy stream, requiring us to walk sideways downhill digging our poles into the mud to stop from sliding. Eventually, we reached a road again, but as we could see on the map that it was a dead end and we would soon have to climb again along a muddy trail to Cassio, we decided to call it quits and sent a message to the taxi driver who rescued us yesterday. He arrived 30 minutes later and took us to our BnB in Berceto.