Walking Home

reveries of an amateur long-distance hiker

June 13

June 13th, 2016

Brusino  to Chiasso 22 km

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The last day on a long-distance trek is obviously one of mixed emotions. The trail has been home for a month or more, you are in a particular rhythm that is comfortable, and the non-walking life never holds much appeal. Nevertheless, there usually is some need for rest and refueling (I’m 10-15 lbs. (or 7 kg) below my normal weight), and of course there is the sense of accomplishment that comes with completion. So it is a day you want to be over while you try to savor every moment. Like yesterday, this one started with a long, hot, steep climb up from Brusino. I almost never stop, even to rest, on an ascent, always trying to keep up the momentum, but today about halfway up, I just sat on a rock and looked out over the lake below and listening to music. I was glad a hiker came down and roused me from my reverie, or I might not have finished. After the peak, there was a long fairly smooth track into Mendrisio. A large, undistinguished industrial town and, at least according to one guide, the actual end of the T-ST (the #2 signposts seem to have stopped there). I rested there briefly, then pushed on to Chiasso, a town right on the Italian border. There in the city square they had a huge outdoor TV screen set up with row upon row of chairs, showing the Eurocup games. My hotel room window looks directly out onto the square and the screen, so my end-of-the-trail celebration will mingle with the celebration of fans watching the Italy-Belgium game. I doubt I will sleep early tonight.

494 kilometers– FINIS!

T. Hugh Crawford

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