May 2nd: Bologna – Cinque Cerri (Sasso Marconi)
After an almost sleepless night at 6.22 am it’s time for the train which takes me to Milan, and then with another train I reach Bologna Centrale. It’s almost 8.30 am when I get there and, with no hesitation, I look for a place to have breakfast with some coffee and a croissant.
Right after the coffee I reach out the exit of the station, ready to take the first steps of my journey, but first I have to stop again to wear the raincoat because a light but bothersome rain started to fall from the sky right after my arrival in Bologna.
It would be very difficult to consult a paper map, so I trust my cell phone, at worst I have an additional emergency battery to recharge it just in case. The phone application called Easytrails has the whole path saved on my phone and it tells me to go straight, so there I go! I walk under some arcade which lead me to cross the Piazza Maggiore, and after that they start again, so it seems I am walking under the famous 666 arcades of which I have read about, and they will lead me to the S. Lucia sanctuary.
First on easy, then climbing and some time by steps I reach out such a high place that, when I get to the sanctuary, it’s surrounded by mist, and to me it seems to be as high as I can be, but I’m just at the beginning of my trekking experience, I still don’t know what will be next for me.
The trees and the bushes all around the trail soon soak my shoes and trousers, but I had to make a choice between being able to breathe wearing the raincoat or dying breathless wearing the waterproof jacket and trousers. And of course I chose to breathe.
The trail ends up in the town park of the floodgate, which acts as the entrance to the path covered by a deep vegetation which flanks the river; a road that will reveal itself as a nightmare which goes on and on. When I’m lucky I find mud and some puddles to jump , and when I’m unlucky I find little lakes or rivers occupying the whole trail. So much that I have to soak my feet in them for 3 times . All of this for almost 10 kms , during which I didn’t fail to ask myself if it was worth it. And what about the weather for the next few days?
Finally I get out from that swamp and understand I’m slowly getting back to the civilization, or better I should say incivility, seeing that all I can see is an abusive dump.
After jumping off another little river and after some more mud I finally get on the road to find out that some branch destroyed my “Made in China” raincoat, I find a wall to sit on just to rest and have some food. I don’t stop too much because I’m soaked and the weather is not very comfortable.
The road goes on and by a turn I can hear a lady calling me, asking if I’m on the road to Florence and if I’d like to have some hot coffee. I gladly accept and sit under a porch , so I can dry my feet and change my socks, even though it’s pretty useless seeing my shoes are soaked both inside and outside.
A quick chat with the lady and then I leave again headed towards Badolo, after some kms I find a crossroads, but after that, tank to the application on my cell phone, I discover I’m no longer following the right path, so I come back and take the other road which leads me to a steep ascent and then to the mounts towards Badolo. Luckily sometimes the road gets easy because it’s very exhausting, above all when the ascents are full of mud, and each time I get to the top it seems that the next one will be harder to overtake.
When the path gets back to be on a hard surface I finally arrive to the road sign of Badolo, a quick check to the cell phone reminds me that I still have to get to Cinque Cerri to reach out the lodging house where I will be sleeping, and it means 5 more kms off the trail, but unfortunately I couldn’t find anything else when I booked.
A muddy descent across the fields, I really don’t know how I could walk the whole day without slipping and falling to the ground. Fifteen more minutes on the road and finally I get to the destination, after 35 kilometers.
Before the relax time I have to wash away all the mud I collected on the road and do the laundry. I will have my dinner here at the login house, which is a little expensive but I don’t have the strength to go out and find somewhere else toh ave a decent dinner. The TV should have been for free anyway, seeing I’m paying 50 euros just to sleep…
My shoulders are a little sore but everything else is all right, I just hope that tomorrow there will be a much more sunny weather.