Day 42: Chatillon

Number of kilometres today: 29.3

Total kilometres walked from Canterbury: 1,081.3

Total steps since Canterbury:  1,532,258

I am so happy that my blogger issues have resolved themselves and I can now share the last few days walking with you.

Val d'Aosta is stunningly beautiful.  Giant snow covered peaks rising either side of the valley.

Snow-covered.  That means it is cold.  Which is fine when I am walking as I soon warm up but I am struggling to cope at night.  The hotels have not switched the heating on yet.  I am not sure how cold it has to be for that to happen.  Tonight my hotel had a half-bath.  I filled it with the hottest water out of the tap and squished myself in and sat there for 30 minutes just to get warm. It worked for a while.  Now I am sitting here with almost all my layers on and I am still cold.  I have resorted to eating chocolate waiting for the heat of pure energy to kick in.

Today was up hill, down hill, up hill, down hill.  That's how it goes when you are weaving your way along the hills above the valley.  You walk up and know you are going to have to walk down again.  You walk down hoping that that you can stay down this time then you end up walking uphill again.  I was completely fine with it until I lost the signs and followed the GPS route on my map which made me climb 100 metres up a steep hill onto a path that was an alternative path and not the one I really wanted to be on.  It added 20 minutes to my 8 hour walking day and meant I arrived into Chatillon in light rain.

Despite the challenges, it was beautiful.  Castles. Old churches. Vineyards of moscato and petite rouge.  Abandoned villages.  Hundreds of grasshoppers jumping ahead of my feet and butterflies flitting alongside me as if to encourage me along the way.  Mountain streams and rivers bubbling over rocks. Walking beside the ancient aqeducts.  And that bella vista, the valley lined by snow covered mountains glistening in the sun.  Villages perched on the side of the hills.  Clouds sweeping over the valley threatening rain or snow. 

I am so happy to be back in Italy.  The food (oh the food, my waist line is in trouble).  The language.  The beauty.  La bella vita.  I might just have to stay.

On the way out of Aosta.

Church in Saint Christopher

Just outside of Saint Christopher

Villaggio Olleyes

Church in Villaggio Charriete

View from outside Vianoz

Just outside Chetoz

Hillside path near Mazod

View from above Mazod

This is where I ate my lunch sitting on the grass in the sun watching the clouds float above the mountain and listening to the river flowing on the other side of that stone wall and under the bridge you can just see the top of

Church in Nus

I stuck my head inside and Moses leapt down towards me!

Walking towards Plantayes amongst the vineyard terrace

Looking back towards Rovarey

Fierce cane!

Church in Diemoz with the silver moon sun next to it. Typical of the afernoon weather to become overcast.

Looking down at the church in Diemoz.

Abandoned village.  This happened quiet often due to economical and social changes,