Isn’t it great when everything you’re looking for you find. It happened to me this morning when in Carcare I found a bar where I could have a cup of tea and a supermarket to stock up on supplies. Now these may seem fairly mundane but when you’re doing what I am those things we mostly take for granted take on a much greater significance.

I had about five long, straight, uphill sections of road to negotiate between the outskirts of Carcare and Millesimo. This type of walking is very testing mentally, still, but I have got a lot better than what I was like at the beginning. There are ways I’ve learned to deal with it. They are simple, but effective techniques. There are a
number of phrases I use like: ‘I’ll get there when I get there’, or ‘However long it takes is what it takes’, or ‘Just take it a step at a time’. You’ll notice that these phrases are designed to keep me in present time. I’ve learned that there is no point in concerning myself about how long it’s going to take to get somewhere or how far away some place is. But the main technique is to simply look at the road about one metre in front of me and keep focussed on it. This then becomes a walking
meditation. Of course I look up from time to time to take in the countryside around me, and importantly to check the line being taken by oncoming cars.

I stopped to eat on the outskirts of Millesimo where I watched speckled backed ducks with green heads swimming the river. A couple ventured on shore and were met by a very territorial white fellow who chased them away and followed them into the water for about three metres to make sure they got the message. It was a location of contrasts: there was the river to my right and to my left in the near distance three layers of the Autostrada. Millesimo was just packing up after it’s Saturday street markets. The main street was closed and motorists diverted with specially located traffic lights.

From Millesimo to Montezemolo it was a continuous climb. Montezemolo sits at 754 metres according to a sign on a building where lots of motorcyclists gathered. Obviously Saturday is a big day for them to be out riding, and most of them in full leathers. The cyclists were also out in force. I passed one group of at least forty riders.

I’ve finished up in Priero after a downhill walk of about five kilometres. This brings me to the second rule of mountain road walking: today’s downhill becomes
tomorrow’s uphill. I found a public park (rare in my travels) with a number of bench seats and tables near a small cafe. Not sure if the tables belonged to the park or the cafe I bought a bottle of water to justify sitting at one. There I made and ate dinner. I’m carrying Japanese green tea, mug and diffuser. The cafe owner was more than happy to supply me with hot water. I offered to pay, but he like all the others to whom I’ve made the same offer, refused.

As I post today’s wanderings it’s going on for 7.00pm, my pack is ready to go, and I’ll soon leave my bench seat and table and head out of town to find a camping spot for
the night. I should be in my sleeping bag by eight o’clock.

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