Bastardo to Bevagne 14.6k
My accommodation, the Hotel Paradiso served my needs well. The room was warm, the bed was comfy and I'd been able to have a decent two course vegetarian evening meal. Breakfast on the other hand was a different affair. I was the only guest and I'm of the firm opinion that Italians really don't do breakfast. On my table was a plate of various biscuits and baclava and some dried toast that comes in packets. I did have a choice of fruit spreads that I could add to my toast though. Needs must and I ate what I could and after obligatory two espressos I was packed and ready to go.
The route from Bastardo took me along a primary road and was not too busy for the time of the morning. Once again I was blessed with warm weather as I sauntered along the road passing along vineyards and olive groves. Every now and then I would get the distinguishing aroma of wine fermenting in their vats, a smell I could be around all day.
After 4k I was off piste and trying to establish a route through farm land. I'd passed a landowner tending his olive trees and with only a cursory nod of the head in acknowledgement I knew I was ok on the path. My journey then took me through a farmyard with a large barn full of very curious young cattle, I don't think they've seen any walkers go past them before. I descended into the valley, my path meeting up with a road below or so I thought. Once again I came to a dead end, well the track continued, but will fall trees across it and clear evidence that it had not been used for some time I retraced my steps. I'd passed a bird hide at the top of a 10 metre scaffold tower so bravely and probably rather foolishly I climbed the ladder with my pack on to see if I could make out any tracks from the top. Not a dickie bird could be seen and know dickie birds either. I gingerly climbed down and walked up and down the track until eventually I saw a faint track which I decided to follow.
Eventually I arrived at the road and once again proceeded to climb up out of the valley. It was slow going but I was in the shadow of the trees and soon I was in my own little world of thoughts and dreams, savouring the peace and tranquility of the space around me. On the outskirts of the Bevagne I came across a church sat proudly looking down to the village. I was not able to check into my accommodation until 16.00hrs so I took advantage to take some photos and to sit on a chair that I felt had been placed there just for me. With my feet up and the weight off my back I just sat there enjoying the landscape ahead of me. I could have said silence, but less than a kilometre from the square a motorbike race was taking place around a field and the air was filled with the dreadful drone of the machines as they chased each other around the track.
After 20 minutes I could stand it no more. I had planned to take a direct route to the village but the thought of walking down to and passing the dreadful racket I could hear where I was, filled me with dread. I chose instead to extend the route slightly and continued along the top of the valley before taking a right turn along via Sant’ Antonio. One of the houses along the road had a fresco of St Anthony of Padua set into the eves of the wall. I stopped and being an Anthony myself took time to reflect on my journey thus far. The final leg of the journey took me along the narrow medieval streets, with washing hanging high up from windowsills and the wafts of fresh meals being cooked. At the Romanesque church of St Micheal Archangel my journey ended and I went in search of a beer and well deserved sit down in the shade.