Distance: 20.3 km – Elevation +330 m -400 m
Weather: Sunny. Temperature: High 24 degrees
We had a shortish day ahead so enjoyed a leisurely breakfast before leaving the hotel at 7.30 am. We were now in Piedmont and the landscape was becoming more gentle, we were leaving the mountains behind. As we climbed out of Pont St. Martin I took a last look along the Aosta Valley. Soon we reached Carema with its votive chapel, dedicated to Saint Rocco. It had been built by the residents of Carema in thanks to Saint Rocco for protecting them against the plague. The path took us through the terraced vineyards which grow on the slopes above Pont St. Martin and we passed by the 16th century “Fontana di Via Basilia” with its inscription “si quis sitit veniat ad me et bibat” – (if someone is thirsty let him come to me and drink) and “Jesu preceptor nostril miserere” – (Have mercy on us Master Jesus). Also, we pass the 17th century Church of Disciplini called St.Matthew’s. From Carema we descend to the valley to walk briefly alongside the Dora Baltea through the small village of Settimo Vittone. It is a beautiful warm sunny morning and we join the congregation to celebrate Mass in the Chiesa Sant Pietro in Settimo Vittone. After the service, we meet two other pilgrims, a Dutch couple – Arie and Johanna, who had started their pilgrimage from home in Holland. We continue on through shady bowers of grapevines and stop for lunch on a grassy bank, first Johanne, the Dutch Pilgrim passes without a word, I think she is shy and later her partner Arie walks by and asks if he could take a photo of Jeran Pierre and myself. After lunch, we catch up with Johanna and Arie sitting by the track enjoying lunch! Around 1.00 pm we reached Borgofranco d’Ivrea where Jean Pierre decides he wants to phone ahead for accommodation for the night. He is becoming more dictatorial and snaps when I make a suggestion. I decided enough is enough and I decide I want to walk by myself again, so I continue walking, leaving Jean Pierre behind. I am determined and walk at a quick pace. Around 3.00 pm I arrive in Montalto Dora and close to lake Sirio I book into a small hotel. That evening I reflected on the events of the day and of the days I had walked with Jean Pierre since Champlitte in France 22 days ago. I wrote to him and told him that I had enjoyed his company and explained why I had now decided to walk by myself again. I felt a sense of relief as I retired to sleep knowing that I was in control again.