Porto Ceresio to La Motta d'Ora
06:32, the packed Eurocity to Milan and Venice is slowly pulling out of Zurich. Buried deep in my thoughts, I don't really realize it. It's the unknown, which keeps my mind busy. Despite having done quite a thorough planning, I still don't really know what to expect in Italy. And it is something I don't like too much.
Eventually, the train reaches rainy Lugano, where I connect to a local train to Capolago, where I board a post bus to Porto Ceresio. I get dropped off right in front of the pier, the starting point of E1 in Italy. While the town seems to be worth exploring, I am not in the mood to do so. I rather prefer to hit the trail as soon as possible. After the mandatory photo, I'm back on the trail. After a quick stop to turn on my tracking device (which I completely forgot), the trail soon leaves the road, climbing steeply away from the lake. With loose rocks and tree fall not very nice to walk and not a very nice first impression. Luckily, the trail improves quickly. Yet, my knees feel like jelly. I suspect that it is more of a mental thing than a physical thing. All that thinking earlier probably didn't help.
It's a permanent up and down. Mostly through forest, with the odd village and some places that would offer good views, if it wasn't for the poor visibility. Kind of sad because according to a info board, the highest peaks in Valais as well as the Piz Bernina would be visible from Forte Orino on a good day. Yet, the view towards Milan is not too bad and gives me an idea what to expect. It's going to be flat...
It would be a fantastic place to camp up there at the Forte. And being 18:00 it sure would be more than suitable option. Yet, my feet feel more restless than ever and I decide to descend towards Gavirate. I take a shortcut here via the trail 13, risking to get stuck because of a massive tree fall visible on Google Earth. Luckily, the trees have been cleared, which must have been a massive effort. Thanks whoever did it. Saved me a detour and lifted my hiking spirits. Generally, the afternoon was much easier to walk, mentally. I guess it takes some time to be back in the thru-hiking mode.
Nightfall comes surprisingly quickly. Gone are the days, where the sun was still up at 22:00. By 20:30, a couple of minutes after pitching my tent, it's completely dark here in the middle of the forest.
My hiking days definitely will be shorter than in Germany. But more sleep isn't too bad either.