Day 14 Sermano to Pianellu

Guide says 4 hrs 45mins, 12k, 560m ascent, 530m descent.

A dull and slightly overcast morning that never really got any better.

Off at 8.30 after a good breakfast. Unusually a down hill start, and even more unusually two other hikers, not from our gite, going in the same direction. Down hill thru the usual maquis, oaks and chestnut trees. Cross a few streams then a long up to our first village, Alando. A nice water fountain provided a good place to rest and have a snack. While we were there the travelling baker drove into the village sounding his horn. We scored a current danish for our snack.

Then it was up the road for a small bit. The track then left the road, however it was terribly maintained, used as a garbage tip and badly eroded, so we quickly aborted and went back to the road, stopping only for some excellent blackberries.

The next short section of road walking, parallel to the track but without its ups and downs was uneventful apart from meeting about 6 hikers coming in the other direction. Obviously it was well known that that section was worth missing. Then it was back on the track, steadily uphill again thru one small village until we got to Castelluccio, just below San Pancraziu. Here we stopped for lunch looking down on the villages below.

We had brought two picnics from the gite. Mine was not a success. The bread was uneatable, how Colin managed his I don’t know. So I just had the salami filling and the apple that was also provided. This spot provided us our last look at the central mountains though the grey weather did not make them very photogenic.

Then it was a short stretch to the crest, no views on account of grown trees. Then a long gradual down thru the maquis.

Who’s path is this anyway?

Very boring until we were decamped at a sandy road with a sign saying go straight but no more waymarks as far as we explored, but my gps insisted that the route went right, but again no waymarks. In the end we decide to follow the gps. Fine at first, then it directs us to cut back, thru dense bracken towards the other track. We never actually find where the two connect, obviously there is a stream crossing involved, but suddenly we have waymarks and gps agreement that it was the right track. A final uphill stint and then we emerge on a ridge above this village, and with a view of the coastal plain and the sea in the distance.

Shortly afterwards we are down in the village and at the gite where they are having a welcoming reception, but not for us.

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