Day 54 Etchevannoz to Aosta

Morning Update Day54

Well what a cool way to start a day. We had a short day to Aosta today so we could sleep late and have a late (8am) breakfast at the B&B. After packing we headed down to the cellar/stalls for breakfast. This was a cool spot. Allison called it a man cave. It had a pool table, pizza oven fireplace, and bar for serving breakfast and espresso. Scattered around the room were trophies, two accordions, some odd bear and what looked like a badger masks, and other oddities.

The breakfast was the usual but with homemade jams, and a cream filled croissant – yum. But the fun was just beginning. Our host, Eric, turned on some Italian cafe music as he served up the food. Once done, and at our request he picked up one of the accordions and played a few traditional tunes.

Later Eric explained he’d won a recent Fiolet competition. What??? You don’t know what Fiolet is? Neither did we. You’ll have to look it up, but it’s a game that requires precision and strength.

Fiolet Equipment – a Fiolet (on the mantle next to the keys) a pira and a maciocca

Next he described a local fete where the masks were used. The town parade includes animal characters as well as mock-Napoleon costumes (to poke fun at Napoleon who invaded in the early 19th century.).

Lastly he described an ultra marathon type event in which he’d competed. This crazy race, the “Tor les Geants” is reknown. You can check it out below.

Eric’s medal for completing the Tor

Well, let’s say we were thoroughly entertained and really enjoyed our breakfast. Before leaving Eric treated us to one last experience as we got to meet his golden retriever “Luna”. We love goldens.

Eric. A great host

The walk today was so nice and easy. The steep downhill was replaced by a gentle downhill on a wooded path that was soft underfoot. This path follows ancient, but still used irrigation channel that keeps the swiftly flowing alpine water at a high altitude for over 13km for use by farmers for irrigation. These are called rus. The walking path was wonderful.

The wooded path took us past a shrine in a grotto that had an interesting Madonna and adolescent Christ.

The Valle d’Aosta in which we were walking (and would continue to walk for a couple more days was destroyed by a plague in which 2/3 of the population was killed. Many traditions of faith and superstition have been instituted as a result of this tragedy. Several processions were instituted by law including one in the town of Gignod (gee-gno). Here the men of the town would face a steep fine if they didn’t participate in a procession once a year.

The last part of our short day took us to the valley floor through a region rich with orchards of walnut, apple, pear, plum, grape, and even kiwi.

We arrived in Aosta to find our B&B and enjoyed walking through the pedestrian zones.

After doing some shopping (shoes for me…it was time, hiking pole stoppers, groceries) we walked through the Roman/medieval town and looked for some pasta. Oddly enough, Italy has a pretty good selection of places where pasta is featured.

Returning from dinner where Allison has a mushroom pasta and I had a venison pasta dish (both good), we finally met our host Gabreiella. We had left some clothes to dry outside and she’d kindly taken them and dried them in her machine. So kind.

Just before Bed we got some sad news. Our fellow pilgrim Mona has decided to train ahead a bit. We knew this was a possibility but kind of expected to be together a few more days. We didn’t get to say our proper farewells, but perhaps we will yet meet again.

Mona, we will miss you. Buen Caminno Peligrino.

P.S. a no us to whomever can tell me what these are. I have no idea.

We saw several of these all roughly the same shape and size.

Published by

Mark Dowty

"An Intentional Life"

14 thoughts on “Day 54 Etchevannoz to Aosta”

  1. Reading your blog daily. Okay so you’re in Italy now. What good wines are you finding in that area? I spent time in Bologna Italy & loved the Pinot Grigio which was made there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hard to say yet Jone. It’s all been good and we’ve just had the vino del maison. Not sure which grapes…but I’ll learn. I do love wine. There was definitely Pinot Grigio growing as we walked into town though. I love how each small bend in the hills in this area changes what is grown (because of the differing microclimate).


  2. Also, there used to be a L’ Abri retreat center in NE USA. I attended a weekend L’Abri retreat at Wofford College several years ago. Very cerebral! I did enjoy the time with friends, but the lectures, not so much. Wish I had kept the few notes I took.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sorry Mona is not continuing with you all but perhaps the mention of 23 miles may have been a determining factor. If you do run into her again, tell her your sister’s prayers continue for her. “May the Lord watch between you and me while we are absent from one another,”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I was not successful in determining what that tank-like structure is. It looks like the top is a removable cap. A wire from the building to the top may be electrical or possibly for support / stability. Not at all sure what the bell-like thing is near the juncture of the wire and the structure.
    Best guess (and I want to emphasis the guess part) is that it is a liquid storage tank. Water is a possibility but it seems likely to be subject to freezing. Wine? Fuel ? Sewage?
    If you get a chance look for a port of some kind (especially at the base) because it may give you a clue as to its purpose. Also what is it made of?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have been enjoying your posts. Your descriptions and pictures are wonderful. My friend and I started from Aigle yesterday and will be going as far as Lucca. I have always used Blogger before on my trips, but switched to WordPress for this one. I cannot seem to get a good enough signal to have my posts download and publish. Can you share your secret?


    Liked by 1 person

    1. I stumbled on this truck by shear experimentation. It seems to really help. It has indeed been frustrating at times.

      First my standard method. Not sure if it will help.

      I write all my words first and save as a draft, I then import each picture and save as a draft each time. Sometimes even this is a problem. Videos are a real bear. For anything over 1min long I have resorted to uploading it to YouTube and then copy/paste a link.

      Sometimes nothing works and I resort to this trick. Write your text and import your images. Don’t worry if they fail to upload for now. Get everything as you like it.
      Next switch to HTML mode (hit the three dots in the upper right hand corner). Copy everything there and start a new blog entry. Still in HTML mode, paste the text in. Switch back to visual mode. You’ll have to manually re-Input the title. Next publish.
      It’s a hassle but not too difficult and it seems to work every time.


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