Day 3 Via Francigena, Chatillon to Verres, 21.9km

Date: Friday 10 August
Distance covered to Rome: 85.1/1027km
Terrain: a nightmare of dangerously steep climbs and descents
Overnight: Ostello Il Casello, €24 B&B
Feeling: as if I may not make it

I turned into a mountain goat today! Admittedly a very arthritic and slow moving mountain goat, but I needed to dig deep and find my inner alpine fauna to simply survive the day.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, today was another to test my resolve and my sanity. I reckon those map-making people must have a sadistic streak! Yes, I appreciate that they want to get us off the road, out of the traffic, and perhaps show us a bit of scenery, but do they really need to take it to such extremes?

The day started with an all-but vertical climb out of Chatillon. OK, I can handle that and much better to get it out of the road early when I am relatively fresh. It was then a pleasant walk long enough to lull me into a false sense of security. The path edged the mountains and took me onto soft dirt tracks, under heavily laden grape arbors and over babbling streams. Once I was suitably distracted, reality kicked in and it all went to Hell in a hand basket. The climbs got increasingly vertical and the descents to match. This was made even more complicated with loose rock and tree roots underfoot. Maybe that is what all those religious shrines are for? Placed there by exhausted pilgrims in the hope that they won’t tumble off the mountain?

I do admit to have used a broad range of colourful language that day and it took me nearly 8 hours to cover the 21.9km!

Today was rated ‘Challenging’. You are not kidding!

Tip of the day: Catch the train!

18 thoughts on “Day 3 Via Francigena, Chatillon to Verres, 21.9km

  1. Lue August 15, 2018 / 5:19 am

    Oh dear Mel, that sounds very daunting. But you can do it!! Hope your next day is easier! 💥


  2. gracethepilgrim August 15, 2018 / 2:44 pm

    Oh Mel!! I hope you’ll get to some less challenging terrain soon. I’m not sure I’ll be starting before the ‘pass’ when I get to walk the VF! Take care lovely


    • Life...One Big Adventure August 15, 2018 / 4:55 pm

      Yep, it has arrived at last! Happy to have a longer chat about the early stages of this walk when your plans firm up. I think I was just the double whammy – under-trained and over-optimistic


  3. Chris August 15, 2018 / 2:49 pm

    Yes the train sounds good but you know you wouldn’t take that option. Just seems so much more challenging this time with the steep climbing and descents. Take care and watch your feet!!


    • Life...One Big Adventure August 15, 2018 / 4:57 pm

      I think I spend more time staring at my shoelaces than the view, but so far it has served me well


  4. Tiny Bookmite August 15, 2018 / 4:21 pm

    You’re a brave, brave woman Mel! I’m full of admiration, seriously. Non mollare!


  5. Nella August 15, 2018 / 4:33 pm

    Hang in there. So far you’ve had a 100% success rate of handling whatever life throws at you. This is no exception. More than you expected but so will be the sense of triumph and memories when you stop. At the end ( – or sooner and just enjoy a truck ride for a day or two to gather yourself .. this is your adventure, do it whatever way works best) Back yourself, you’ve got this. x


  6. restlessjo August 16, 2018 / 12:14 am

    I’m waiting for a cheerful one to link to my Monday walks, but ending with ‘catch the train’ doesn’t quite qualify. 🙂 🙂 Though I can see why you’d be very tempted. I think I might have been on the next train home 😦 😦 Surely, it gets better?


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