This second climb was relatively easy as it was mostly on a dirt road, but the distance was 3.5km of mainly up. The village of Sasso sat tantalisingly above me as I walked up...
But intriguingly, as I seemed to get closer, the road seemed to be bending higher but not going there. Turned out this was a bit of a pattern with each mountain hamlet- the road passed by at the top end without going through the village proper.
Sasso was worth taking time to reach: it had a seating area where I gladly had a first lunch break, and there was a lovely 11th century church that you could visit inside.
The next hamlet along, Poggio, wasn't much higher, then there was a short grunt to a restored castle. I found a shady spot hidden around the top corner there, and had my 'proper' lunch. I always like to get major climbs behind me if I can before I eat- otherwise I don't enjoy the food quite the same!
As you'd expect, the castle was at the high point, and I mainly descended from here. Once I'd passed through the hamlet of Mascioche, I could see Nocera Umbra below. (I could also hear a lot of motorway noise floating up.)
It seemed to be a long descent... And I could see the old town of Nocera Umbra looming above the valley I was heading down to, and was hoping I didn't need to go that high.... Well as it turned out I did... -almost!
My Camino friends will know all about the hilltop towns, especially in the south of France where you had end-of-the-day climbs! However, as soon as I walked into my hotel, the kind owner gave me a cold drink! It had been a warm day, and I am pleased to find I seem to have put Sunscreen on early enough in the day.
So that was 'Gorge' like climbs today- but tomorrow it's more like Rangiwahia, so I guess I will just have to dig in... Catch you tomorrow!