Up into the mountains again through villages, high up and low down in the valley, with spectacular views from 1000 metres on Cisa Pass, we relished the spectrum of this intriguing mountain range. The steep climbs and slippery loose shale declines meant we had to be extra careful, so interspersed with taking in the spectacular alpine views it was a long day. Forests of pines, oaks and others, some clinging to the especially steep slopes, shaded and delighted us as we walked delicately on the challenging terrain and along ridges, the width at times less than a metre wide.

We overtook our 2 German friends, were overtaken by the tall young Italian man who helped us earlier, and once again saw no-one else on the track; a strange quietness enveloped, with only an occasional bird darting off at the first hint of our intrusion.

Because the day was long we stopped at 2 bars and took about 3 breaks for snacks and water during the steep climbs. From the coolness of the morning, to the unrelenting afternoon sun, we were finally treated to some lightning and rain as we trudged our final steps into Pontromoli, over a 4th century bridge, staying at a delightful B&B where generosity and hospitality seem to know no bounds. Afternoon snacks, cake, a well-stocked fridge and an array of breakfast fare that offers too much to mention, or eat. Remember that we “slip” away before 6.30am.