Now that the rocky part of the descent was over, I pulled out my trail runners and left my hiking boots on the side of the trail. I had no doubt someone would make good use of these boots. They’d been way better than expected.
The views, both ahead and behind me, were absolutely awe-inspiring. SO much greenery, and yet so close to the peaks. Someone on the TMB had mentioned that the Aosta Valley was their favourite part of Italy. I was beginning to understand why.
The City of Aosta
Approaching a city while on the trail always made me feel a bit unsettled. Cities were organized for vehicles. This made maneuvering them on foot difficult. At the very least, time-consuming.
Somewhere on the outskirts, I lost the signs for the trail and saw a lot more of the city than I should have. With much asking of directions and time, I ended up in the old section.
I hadn’t eaten since early morning. I was way past hunger. I found an opened bakery – nearly everything is closed on Sundays except some bakeries – and gorged on food I wouldn’t normally choose. Then I felt ill.
The old sector was filled with strolling families dressed in rich, trendy clothing. Maybe even the beggars dressed better than I was attired, but I’m not sure. I didn’t see any.
On To Nus
Nice city, Aosta, but I just wasn’t feeling it. I stumbled upon the tourist information booth, got directions to get out, and I was gone, on my way to Nus, 15 km away.
The trail was well-signed from the Great St Bernard Pass to Aosta, but after this, the signs tended to be rather sporadic. I got lost one more time and got told by a young woman that she didn’t understand my French patois, the dialect, I spoke, before reaching the small town of Nus.
For those who don’t know, the Aosta Valley is supposedly bilingual: French and Italian. It’s not quite how it is, but I’d been pretty lucky in getting help in French so far.
The recommended hotel, Hotel Florian, was closed for the week. They’d decided to take their holidays. This was a danger of not reserving ahead.
I found Hotel Dujanay opened down the road. Clean rooms and good breakfast. The highway runs right behind it, but with a room towards the front it’s pretty quiet.