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Juerg and Lars decided to sample the local beers before dinner and celebrate a very fun day of paddling. Once we made it to dinner, Lars (Lars’s family makes wine in Switzerland so he knows a lot about wine) picked out a delicious wine for our dinner – also not very expensive and we had dinner at the same restaurant overlooking the Mastallone River. Since the wine was so good and we were watitng for Gary to arrive, we had another bottle – everyone was feeling fine! Gary finally arrived and we enjoyed the end of our dinner with him. It was a late evening that lead to a later morning.

Luckily, the sun was out and we decided to go up and run a section of the Sesia, which both Lars and Gary knew. We would put in at the town of Piode and run down to just above a very knarly looking rapid under a bridge, about a 7-8 kilometer run. The rapids alternated between wide-open boulder gardens and tighter narrower pool drop rapids. It was just beautiful paddling through the various towns and under bridges. We scouted occasionally and if you wanted to walk around anything it was easy to do. The river definitely had less water than on our first day paddling on the Sesia but it was still a nice medium/high level.
I finally got some nice photos in the sun! After dinner, we headed to the local restaurant in Balmuccia and had a delicious dinner for around 10 euros. This restaurant had a great view of the Egua River and I kept looking at a fun play spot right across from the restaurant, which I suspect is only there when the water is up. We camped around the corner at the rafting/camping base for 5 euros per person per night and they also make great cappuccino! We were so lucky. The next morning the boys were very excited to run the top of the Egua though we looked at a lower down section that rarely runs. I was feeling really tired that day so I opted to take photos of them running the top of the Egua which was really cool – I also thought I would like to run it with just a little less water and when I was not feeling so tired! It all turned out well and we ran another section of the Sesia in the afternoon. The clouds came in again and it started to rain again!! At least we had the sun for a little while. Our afternoon run was really fun too and we finished in the town of Scopello, which is also adorable and has an incredible butcher shop with every kind of sausage under sun. It also had amazing prosciutto. We had a nice impromptu picnic in the town, which was supplemented with gelato, beer and cappuccino!
We spent another night at the campground and it rained again most of the night. In the morning, we headed up to a higher section of the Sesia, which definitely looked good, and slightly more continuous than the other sections we had run. We put in at another bridge in Boccorio and paddled down to Campertogno – this very cool campground right in the middle of the town! There were great class IV rapids the whole way down with the exception of one portage that was long but quite easy because you could walk up to the road and around. We also had to get out one other time to avoid two small ish Culverts where all the river water was diverted. That was also quite easy to avoid and well marked however. There were good rapids all the way to the take out at the campground. And it was a really good section of whitewater, really fun and great for working on your water reading skills since there were so many rapids. On our way down, as we got out to scout one of the rapids, we met up with a guy on a bicycle and it turned out to be an Italian paddler and raft guide that I had met on the Nile named Lorenzo. It was quite a coincidence to bump into to him too and really nice!

Once we arrived at the campground, we saw Simon Westgard and his awesome set up there. It was great to catch up with him for a bit, as I had not seen him in years! This campground had a really nice bar and restaurant – a bit more expensive than down river but really nice for camping and eating and lots of paddlers there too. We enjoyed delicious Italian beer and grappa and the music of a long time Dutch paddler who played guitar for us and took all our requests! It was really fantastic. I can’t say enough good things about the whole trip. I was actually quite sad to leave and I really look forward to going back.