Last night I feasted on pizza, ice cream, bread and cake in the small Italian town of Varzo, stocked up on supplies for the next few days and slept at a decent albergo, though still woke up early. I need more sleep! This morning I took this craggy path up through lovely woods.
It led very steeply up for 1,700m, a long climb which took five and a half hours, and nowhere was there any water to drink. With less than a litre in my rucksack, I probably became dehydrated and didn't feel too bright on reaching the top, the Pizzo di Royale. But water there revived me, as did the first sight of some of the snowy alpine giants - Monte Rosa, the Lagenhorn and the Fletchhorn. Today has still been sunny, hot and humid, but 15 minutes before I reached the next bivouac hut a storm broke, though I missed the worst of it. Is this the break in the good weather and the prelude to heavy rain forecast in the next few days? Tonight I'm not feeling well - I have a chill, aching legs and a stomach ache. I pray I feel better tomorrow.