Athletic climb to a holy place

One of the few downhill stretches in this uphill day.

Day Six: Badia Prataglia to Santuario della Verna — 17.3 km (10.8 miles)

A very vertical day. Our group split in two, with four starting partway through and five walking the whole thing. The distance is deceiving — this is one of the very hardest days on any Camino I’ve ever walked. Two major mountains with around 3500 feet elevation gain — but we all did fine. Have now met total of 14 other pilgrims — today five Americans and three Brits.

These are our mountain trails.

Happy uphill pilgrims: Beth, Kim, Donna, Sue.

The view, ten minutes after leaving Rimbocchi.

Our lofty goal: Santuario Della Verna atop Monte Penna.

Gary walking through the fairytale forest.

And suddenly there is a convent atop the mountain.

Four hundred floors and 5000 calories later we arrive in one of Italy’s most holy places.

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