Bivacco Paolo Massi to Monte Castellaccio
As expected, I leave the bivacco well rested. It's a magnificent start into day, as I follow a beautiful track through Beech forest, wild garlic on both sides and great vistas every now and then. Soon enough though, the track gets steeper and overgrown. Hiking gets tiring. After Bocca Trabaria, the track eventually completely disappears in the forest. I check the map, GPS. Should I return to Bocca Trabaria and find another route or should I just push on, bush bashing. I decide for the latter, which in hindsight turns out to be one of the worst decisions taken on any of my hiking trips. Long story short, I end up in steep slope and dense bush, legs bloody, shorts torn. I make it out obviously, otherwise I wouldn't be writing this blog, but the experience broght me close to my limits. Especially mentally. Being completely lost or stuck in the bush. The ticks didn't help.
Anyway, after being back on terra firma, I completely undress, check for ticks and need a couple of minutes to wind down.
From there it's mostly forestry roads and farm tracks all the way. Muddy at first, firm and rocky later. The hike actually turns out rather nice.
Best experience however, and a well needed motivation booster, was in at Bocca Serriola, where I an old man, sitting in front of Bar La Cima, approaches me with some beans. Despite not speaking the same language, we somehow manage to understand each other. As I am running out of water (water supply h really is challenging, with no water source for nearly 80km) I asked him if I could refill my 3 bottles. He leads me into the bar, fills them up and even hands me out a 4th 1.5l bottle. Very kind!
While having a coffee and ice cream, I have a lovely chat with the (I guess) owner's son attending the bar. Well rested, I continue my hike. The terrain is changing. Drier, less dense forrest. A welcome change. Since my feet start hurting and I shortly after a nice camp spot, I decide to call it a hiking day. An intense day. Which tought me a lesson. When in doubt, better retreat your steps. I know, easier said than done. But the next time I will be in such a situation, I will certainly remember this day.