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After the last really high part of the Apennines for this trip.

It started out all very nice and green and a bit steep out of Aulla.  I was going reasonably well when a man appeared beside me limping badly.   A swiss with tendinitis, but I think really it was just bad boots and socks and a badly adjusted pack.

Anyway he went at about my speed UNTIL WE HIT THE WORST OF IT.

It went up 500m and down 200m and it was steep and it did this twice.  Second time down 800m.  Swissy was very good he would wait for me to catch up then off we would go again.

It took over four hours to beat it and at times I thought I might cry,everything ached..stood with my head on my poles for a time….

Originally this was to be day one, just as well it was not, I would be on my way to Rome by train by now. Still there was wild holly and ivy loads of hellebores and the first cistus I have seen…they like rocky height obviously. Oh yes, lots of Roman road remains on the way into Aulla and again high up yesterday..they are not that easy to walk on nowadays…

[Jan,have a look at the hills to the left and behind La Spezia, thems the ones.]

Eventually made it to Saranza a very affluent town of about 600,000. No idea what supports it but golly there are some yummy old houses.  Found my way to the B&B, swissy still following..

I was hoping he would disappear, very kind on the hills but sod off.  B&B man was puzzled by his presence and in the end I said ‘go’ but he said you have a big bed… Yes and it is all for me…

We agreed to meet for dinner, difficult language wise so a quietish meal.

Then he met me again this morning . By the time we got to Carrara I suggested he would be much better going on a bit further as rain is predicted for the next four days.

We had a coffee in Carrara and thankfully of he went.. Think he may have been a bit ‘special’.

So Carrara and Carrara Marina have improved so much since we here about 15 years ago. The latter did not exist and now they are both quite upmarket.

I am in a funny B&B up the top of Carrara.  Seems OK but will be the second time the sheet sleeping bag has come out. Polyester sheets to match the white vinyl headboard.

The guides suggest using the train tomorrow as the next bit to Camiora is quite industrialised. Some fab marble sculpture around..