I took a "Sentiero" (footpath) all the way to Biasca, where I was supposed to get back onto the footpath towards Bellinzona. The way was beautiful, and I went by an interesting ruined castle. When I got into Biasca however, I didn't pay any attention to the sign of the footpath (it was pointing in the wrong direction), and I just started heading in the right general (down the valley). Feeling like I should take an easier day (both of my shins are giving me some trouble again), I walked the first half on a series of roads and trails that were on no map, marching through mud, under highway overpasses, though thorns, etc. After 15 km or so, I crossed over a bridge and found the proper path again. As it would turn out, had I just gone in the wrong direction a little ways in Biasca, I would have found a bridge and followed the marked footpath the entire way. Once I started running, the going was better, and I followed a river all the way to the outskirts of Bellinzona. When I got there, I stood in the river for 10 minutes or so and headed into town. Bellinzona is a nice little town, with three castles that were once a major gateway to the Alps...now they are UNESCO world heritage sites and people go there because of that. I bought a Gelato and wandered up to the big castle in the center of town, and after walking around it (simultaneously looking for potential places to stay) I went back into town and went up to the next castle, where I did the same. I didn't really bother to go up to the third castle, because it was getting late, and everything would be closed (someone informed me later that it really isn't that cool anyways).
I went back into town and bought some dinner at a Kebab place. After eating, I spent a really long time stumbling about waiting for something to fall in my lap. When 10 o'clock rolled around and nothing had fallen in my lap yet, and I had spoken to a few people who couldn't help me out, I went back to the most happening place I knew (the Gelato place) and bought another ice cream and sat down on a bench. There was a group of young people across the street, so I went up to them and stated my facts. A translation of my introduction would probably be something along the lines of : "Good evening, I am a young person, here alone and I have nothing to do. I think that it is better that I speak with some people..." After we spoke for a bit, and they checked out my website to see that I wasn't just a poorly disguised serial killer (Thank you iPhone and 3G!), two of the people (Johnny and Sabrina) offered to take me home to their apartment for a shower and a place to sleep. They were incredibly nice, and were quick to throw my socks in the laundry machine before I could make their apartment smell like dirty feet (I'm about ready for a new pair of shoes).
21 July 2009