Another 8.00am wake up meant I did not start walking until around 10.30am, not the most ideal way to recommence the journey. Breakfast is an important meal and I make the most of them when included in the price of a hotel room. I called my son Vincent this morning while at breakfast. It was tearful for me to hear his voice even after just a short time apart.

It didn’t take long to drop into the valley floor from the mountain top on which Massa is located. It was a small valley, but oh so beautiful, filled with dozens of olive groves. A lot more Agriturismo businesses are beginning to appear. But the hardest walking I’ve had so far lay ahead of me. The climb out of that valley over the next
mountain was the most taxing and aerobically demanding yet with ascents of 60 degrees that kept going, and going, and going. I needed three rests stops on my way to the top to catch my breath. Rest stops are only for a couple of minutes, where I stand still, lean on my walking poles while I regain my composure. Once my heart rate has settled I’m off again.

The views from the mountain top looking back towards Massa were breathtaking. It was then another descent, but a less demanding climb to a ridge line which I followed for quite a few kilometres. I much prefer to climb than descend. In part it’s got to do with how my body is built. I prefer to lean forward, which is the posture for
climbing, whereas when descending the weight of the backpack is pulling me backwards and the load on the knees seems to increase.

I spent the night in a little mowed paddock by the edge of some bushes with a small fall in the land giving me visual protection from the road, about 50 metres away. Finding a campsite takes some skill. When I’m getting ready to stop for the night (which tonight was around 6.00pm) I start scanning both sides of the road for likely locations. Tonight’s spot had all the right attributes: visual protection from passers by, grassy base for my tent, and bushes providing protection from wind. Perfect.

I was truly ready to stop when I pulled off the road today. It was about a 24km walk, but the bulk of it was up and down hills which I find quite demanding on both my knees and hips, both of which were crying for relief. The good thing is that by tomorrow they’ll be ready to go again. By the order custom essay time of its release, wake up was already pretty familiar to arcade fire’s small but growing audience