Sunday 15 September 2013

Day 6 - From Aosta to Chatillon 28.3 km

Sunday 15th September

Completely different weather today!
We woke to an overcast day, had the usual breakfast at the hotel of breads, jam and coffee, and set off through the streets of the old town. Patrick dreaming of zooming around on a Vespa - actually that's my dream! - Patricks after something a little larger...

So many small churches and chapels 

Roman amphitheater remains 

The way  out of Aosta towards Chatillon was lovely, via the old walled city and Roman arch and Roman amphitheater 
Old streets and shops, full,of character

and as we were leaving, a gentle drizzle started to fall. 
I put on my waterproof poncho...
Patrick kindly took a photo of me looking like an overgrown blue teletubby

He's got a talent for taking lovely photos of me... 

Washing day on a Sunday?
There's so much of Aosta that we didn't have time to explore
The walk took us up the left hand side of the Aosta valley, through meadows, farms, orchards, and lots of small villages and hamlets. Again today the way followed the VF signs and walk number 103.
Figured out that one of abundant the trees is a walnut tree- nuts starting to fall to the ground, apple trees everywhere, and lovely vineyards. Walking mainly along small quiet country roads, with quite a bit of ups and downs, some dirt lanes too.

The drizzle sometimes turned into steady light rain, making it difficult for me to take photos...
We walked past the ruins of a castle - Castello di Quart. Not a very good photo, seemed as though we were walking in the clouds here, I got water drops on the lens. The castle was closed, so,we couldn't explore. 
Stream and bridge next to Castello di Quart
Another tiny hamlet - half in ruins, half lived in.

A photo of an old Ape. These little 3 wheeled farm vehicles are used everywhere. You can see that they're modified from a motorbike and are steered by motorbike handles! (I want to try one out...) 
The way takes us past more irrigation canals. These were build back in medieval times, to distribute water to the farms which would otherwise be too dry to grow crops.
We often have stunning views of the Aosta valley when the walk takes us along old rock walled tracks.

Even the tiniest village or hamlet seems to have its own well kept church.

There are also small shrines

The walk is starting to feel pretty long today - none of the villages we've walked through yet have a bar open for a cafe - coffee... 

We finally find a trattoria open and take off our wet weather gear, sit for 15 minutes and have a cafe droppio each - recharged now ready to go on! We've been walking for about 6 hours by now, and have the last 1 1/2 hours to go... looking at our gps map on Patricks mobile, the trail leads up steeply again... tempting to walk along the road to Chatillon... but we decide to stick to the trail, and so glad we did!

We walk past a few old abandoned villages.
This section of the walk has had several of these signs, explaining various cultural, farming and locality information.
View over the abandoned village - the valley is quite narrow here.
We can see the castles guarding this end of the valley through the mist and cloud. 
The castle on the left is in Chatillon.
We find an apple tree next to an abandoned village, Patrick grabs a branch so I can pick some, they're delicious!
Arriving, finally - after 28 km at Chatillon. The peaks surrounding the town are all dusted with snow already.. my calf muscles are pretty sore and tight!

Chatillon is built on both sides of a steep gorge
View from the Chatillon bridge to an old mine and forge.
Castle on the opposite side of the valley.

In Chatillon, we planned on  staying  at the Franciscan convent.  Unfortunately, once we buzzed several times and spoke to a ?Priest? he said they were "Completo"... no room, sigh... Think they only have 2 or 3 beds, and some pilgrims have arrived before us (6pm by now) he found a name and phone number for small hotel up the road, 40 euro a night. simple, clean room with a bathroom. 
Hotel Dafour Via Chanoux 73 11024 Chatillon  PH: 00516960077
Went and had pizza (great wood fired oven) salad and Patrick had tortellini for dinner, pretty good! Not much open tonight, being Sunday night.
Sleeping is blissful! Bonne notte 

Possible accommodation Chatillon
Address: Via Chanoux, 130 - Chatillon (AO)
Phone: 0166 61471
or, further on

Parrocchia San Vincenzo
Piazza Della chiesa

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