Distance: 28.2 km – Elevation +60 m -80 m
Weather: Sunny/Cloudy. Temperature: High 31 degrees
I woke knowing and feeling happy that today I was leaving behind the midges. Mosquitos and high humidity of the paddy fields that had kept me company these past four days. After a good breakfast, I set out for Pavia. The change in the landscape became more evident as I progressed along broad tracks which ran alongside small irrigation canals. Temperatures were high again as the sun beat down from the clear blue sky. Rest stops became a regular occurrence whenever shaded areas became available. I passed through the small communities of Gropello Cairoli and Villanova d’Ardenghi where I found the parish church of San Cristoforo Martire and took shelter from the morning heat. Later the path followed the Ticino river and passed through the delightful and beautiful woodland of the Ticino Park. It was Saturday and the people of Pavia were out enjoying themselves, sunning and swimming on the banks of the river. I came across “Mal Tra Insema”, a woodland restaurant full of happy chatter and stopped for lunch, a plate of local fish, and a cold beer. What a difference it was from the toils of the past few days. After lunch, the path continued to follow the Ticino through woodland paths. I met and chatted with a Canadian lady who was on holiday visiting her Italian family in Pavia. After the woodland, the path continued to follow the Ticino all the way to the famous Ponte Coperto in the center of Pavia. I made my way through the busy main street of the town centre, full of Saturday afternoon shoppers, to the Hotel Rosengarten which I had booked not realising the hotel was on the outskirts of the town, some 2.5 kilometres from the town centre.