An amazing lightening show last night, we rose to low fog, which gave to a beautiful sunrise and the promise of a lovely day. After a french breakfast (white bagette, butter, jam, juice and coffee) the trek began, With packs forwarded it was still a hard and steady climb, moving back thru forest and then up above the tree line. I was taken by so many senses, the beauty of the rolling landscape, the rugged outcrops, and green grassy sloping meadows perfect for the cows, sheep, and horses that spend their summers there. After Orrison there was no more homes, only summer shelters for the sheep herders and feed storage made from ancient stone foundations with the most beautiful vistas of the valleys below. The Pellegrinos were surprised by the very well placed food truck at 200 m below the summit. I can hardly believe the pilgrams actually have taken the route thru the ages (without the mobile food service). The trek down was a staggering 500 m. in 6 km. although we chose the easy decent it was rocky and ardeously long. Seemingly taking forever to arrive at our final destination at the “Valley of Thorns”, it’s medieval atmosphere welcomes the pilgrims and offers accommodations to hundreds of them daily in a gracious and highly functioning Monastary-Alberge. A very good pilgrim’s dinner was served at a local restaurant which included Pasta, fish, french fries and yogurt for dessert. Lights out at 10 but as I walk down the hall at 8:30-9:00, just about ever bed was occupied by some 200 very weary Pilgrims.
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