From: SS 212 (Highway 212)
Today’s walk was an up and down trip along a major highway to the beautiful Italian town of Campobasso. With a population of 49,000, it’s main attraction is a hilltop castle, Castillo Monforte, built in 1450. Campobasso is also known for the craftsmanship of blades including scissors and knives.
The walk to Campobasso started at 8:45 after a fairly skimpy breakfast at the roadside hotel we stayed in last night. The weather was sunny, temperature around 40, and thank goodness, zero wind. We knew from studying the route we had a 2000’ climb ahead of us. Luckily most of that climb was gradual as we walked along a good, yet busy, highway. We never passed a place to take a lunch break so we pressed on until we got within 2-3 miles of Campobasso where we reached what we thought was the top of the climb. We could clearly see the city ahead at or slightly higher than our current elevation. However, the road started to descend and we gave back several hundred feet of our climb only to start right back up the steep streets as we got into town.
After reaching the city center, we found a great little mom and pop restaurant for lunch. After putting away some pasta and salad, we only had a short five minute walk to the B&B we had picked to stay the night. As has become the norm with B&B’s, the door was locked when we got there. We rang the doorbell, but no answer. I called the posted phone number and the owner answered. He said he had rooms but we could not check in until 6:30 because he was out of town and could not return until that time. Seeing how it was only 2:00, we thanked him for his time and went with Plan B; another B&B just across the street. We found the building, which was shared by some permanent apartment residents, but after climbing several flights of stairs, we never actually found the door to the B&B. So we moved on to Plan C; a nice hotel on the outskirts of town, right along our route for tomorrow. This time we called to make sure they had rooms because if not, we would be walking back to city center to go with Plan D. So we set the walking route in our phone and noticed there was a 300’ descent, then a 300’ ascent to get to the hotel. Not how we want to end our 16 mile day, but doable. The hotel is quite nice with all the key amenities Dave and I need; a bed, a shower, a sink to wash out clothes, and free WiFi.
Tomorrow we have another sunny day over the river and through the woods with almost twice as much descent as climb. That pumps me up just thinking about it. Also, today was a double milestone; we passed the halfway mark both in days and miles for the first segment of our European trek. We’re now over halfway from Athens, Greece to Verona, Italy where we’ll pause our walk for 90 days on 13 March.
In closing, we hope everyone had a great Thursday back home. Thanks for following along.