We had the morning off, because today’s hike will be a short one. But do not mistake that for a boring one, because it’s now that we’ll start reaching completely new heights!
It didn’t start very well for me though. I slept really bad because my stomach was aching – and I never have stomach ache. A few years ago I bought some medicine for an upset stomach to have with me on travels, but I never took a single pill and once they expired, I threw them away and didn’t bother to buy new. Because I never have any stomach aches. Until last night. Maybe it was all the adrenaline from yesterday? I felt a bit better in the morning and I was able to eat some breakfast, but knowing what was ahead tomorrow… it really wasn’t a good feeling and I was anything but excited about the trip ahead. But I was not going to cancel, that’s for sure, and hour by hour I started feeling better as well.
We needed no less than three lifts to get to the trail head at 3280m. The trail took us over a glacier, it was a bit slippery at places but we didn’t need to put on our crampons today. There were also a couple of short passages of climbing á la via ferrata but then we were finally at the Gnifetti Hut for the night. And I was really feeling the thin air… it was ok earlier as long as we just kept going, but after settling down at the hut, my legs were tired just going up the stairs. Crazy. I really hoped that one night was enough for acclimatisation or I would be in real trouble tomorrow!
The toilets at the hut were an interesting story. There was no seat, just a hole in the floor, and you flushed by pouring water out of canisters. The trick was aiming right!
Dinner on the other hand, amazing! My stomach was almost back to normal by now, and I was starving. The dining hall was filled with people and the staff kept supplying every table with trays of food, course after course, with an efficiency I didn’t know was possible for Italians. They even had very nice vegetarian food! I ate too much of the first and second courses, and by main course I was stuffed. And another thing that almost never happens – I didn’t finish my dessert! I just couldn’t get another spoonful in me.
Needless to say that I was tired after that. The air wasn’t so thin that it gave me any problems while inactive, and the ear plugs muted all the sounds. I might actually be able to get some sleep!