Distance from Issogne 14.7km. Distance from Dijon 426.2km
Saturday 1/8 - Monday 3/8/15
Well the first night was exciting as Rachel (my wife) was en route and trying to locate me somewhere along the Aosta valley. Once located she just had to work out how to physically get to me, bus, train, boat, plane, taxi, bike, foot or mule!
As soon as I arrived in the village I let here know I was safe, a common practise required when I travel alone. Back came the response that she was waiting for the next train to a nearby station and then once more had to work out the next mode of transport......we do lead very exciting lives!
I settled into my hotel room, making sure it did not resemble a bomb sight for when she arrived. I decided to have a well deserved catnap and just as I was about to fall asleep, the phone rang. Rachel had arrived at her next stage of the journey and upon arrival had wandered into a bar to ask about the local bus service. I believe a conversation ensued and a very kind young man offered to give her a lift once he had finished his beer. Soon she was on her way and within ten minutes I saw her step out a car. A funny conversation then ensued with me telling Rachel I could see her but she could not see me and I guided her round cars, telling her the make and colour before sending down the road to the hotel and me sitting laughing on the terrace.
I left Rachel to nest in the room and later joined her to discuss the evening meal options. Ha ha image my surprise and joy at seeing that every available surface was now covered with something of Rachel's.....well I guess she was making her self at home.
We had been recommended to try the local restaurant and had booked a table earlier in the evening. We turned up like two scruffy urchins and were shown to out table. It turned out the restaurant was owned by the family and they all lived on the premises. Our waiter spoke good English having been to sent to Scarborough on the North East coast of England ......a sea-side town when still at school. We both wondered how fate had sent home there rather than one of the main cities.
The meal was excellent and I won't make your mouth water by going into the details, suffice to say we skipped out like two very happy bunnies.
The next morning we had decided to check out the shop for provisions and to visit the local Castle by the side of our hotel. It was cheap enough to visit and although the guide was only in Italian we were provided with an English map and each room had some extra information we could both read. Following earlier Roman occupation a fortification building was part of the Bishop's of Aosta's possession around the 12th century before being handed to the Challant family. Now it his in the hands of the local municipality but there is every possibility that it used to provide religious Pilgrims sanctuary from the weary road to Rome.
The day continued uneventfully with us just catching up on chores that needed completing. For the evening we were to dine in the hotel.......how I wished I had had a premonition of what was in store for me...
Meal completed we drifted off to our rooms and with bags packed for an early start, off we went to sleep......O my goodness, in the middle of the night I raced the bathroom and literally did not know which way to turn first. After turning myself inside out several times, I returned to my bed like a rung out dishcloth. Rachel slumbered on totally unaware.....bless!
An hour later I was forced to repeat the whole experience again, this time Rachel woke up and some wifely tender loving care was administered which did make me feel a bit better. I drifted off to a disturbed sleep and woke up at 7.30am to start the day. I stayed where I was and dispatched Rachel for breakfast knowing that I had got food poisoning!
I got ready with bags packed and then promptly undressed and went back to bed for another two hours. We left the hotel after paying the bill and slowly ambled through the village once supplies for the day had been purchased. After three miles of the planned seven miles under our belts I took advantage of a bus shelter to catch my breathe and sit down. I never did manage to walk again that day. My energy was totally depleted and with the thoughts of probably collapsing, once again common sense prevailed and we caught the bus to Pont Saint-Martin.
We had pre-booked a nice bed and breakfast that we had been told was worth every penny but could not get in until after three in the afternoon. Having arrived too early we found a bench, Rachel sat down and I curled up like a ball resting my head on her lap and fell asleep for and hour and a half.
Shortly after three we trundled to the bed and breakfast and by just after four the owner arrived, we settled in and I went straight to bed for another two hours.
Life is not always a bowl of cherries!!!