Hello my friends…
Life has taken so many little twists and turns in the past two days. Many, many highs, then dips as the mind and body ache for a place to rest and then sadly a few lows from home… In all this, I cannot help but be reminded that our time on this special earth we inhabit, is precious. None of us know how long our journey will be but I for one..will never take it for granted. We are truely blessed to be here and it’s up to each and everyone of us to treasure ourselves as individuals and indeed the environment that supports us.
Before I continue I want to send a huge birthday hug to my special chicken, Lucy : ) I was very sad today not to be able to be there for her and also Alice and Hannah but I’m sending her the biggest birthday hug I can mentally muster : )
O mi god…where to begin. Sadly, I’m not sure I will be able to do the last 48 hours justice..yesterday seems a far away place..lost in a gently swirling mist..shades of it emerging here and there, tantalising the memory to rise to attention.
We left Pavia..a little later than planned but the walk was very lovely.
Yesterday, our destination was Santa Cristina. Once again..tired and with absolutely no idea where we were going to sleep, we were gathered up in the arms of our special carers…no groaning now : ) and a bed was presented to us without us having to utter a word..we just followed!
During the day we had searched the Internet for accommodation in this town but there was nothing. Between us we had decided that this would be our stop, as the next village was to far to walk to, so we decided to just ‘wing it’ ….which is becoming part of our everyday vocabulary : )
As we neared the town we met a young girl by chance who eyed us off with interest for a while..by this stage pf the day it was around 6 pm and we were literally exhausted. On approaching her, as there was no one else around, we asked her whether there was any accommodation in the town. Her answer yes…the church. Before we knew what was happening, she told us to follow her and we did. She was chatty and very sweet as she led us through the back streets of Santa Cristina and eventually to the church, where she not only barged through the doors but chatted cheerily to the folk inside as she pulled keys from the board where they were hanging, then led us upstairs to our room..very basic mind you, cold showers, no sheets..but somewhere to rest our very weary heads and a little sanctuary where we could wash a few clothes and recharge our batteries.
And then she disappeared…..not to be seen again..
Here we met up with Hugo once again…a pilgrim from Belgium who we had last spotted way back in Reims, France! We had a very enjoyable evening with him at the local Pizzeria…did Jo drink a little to much wine..or was it me ? Hmmm not to worry..we had fun : ) Falling into our beds last night, was not the least bit painful : )
Today..as you can imagine, we were up and at ’em early..out the door by 7.30, tepid shower and all!
The walk was lovely..very peaceful, which for me was good as I had a whole lot running through my head. I thank Jo for her company, as she is understanding and intuitive, which I appreciate. In saying that, I think it’s important to note here..that we are both strong women, with very individualistic ideas but fortunately we have been able to compromise a little and I think we have worked out a very good walking partnership : )
Part of our walk today involved crossing the Po River by river taxi, which we had to organise in advance. We called ahead and after great relief..hearing a voice on the other end of the line, we were able to arrange a pick up time to cross. I think this is a pilgrim only service but I can’t say for certain. I must say here.. It’s pretty important that you have a reasonable command of Italian or as I do, a little Spanish..if you want to use this service…as Danillo the driver, only speaks Italian! If anyone reading this wants to travel this way, I think it’s important that you have an Italian speaking person help you with the booking.
On our walk to the boat we stopped and asked a very nice man if we were heading in the right direction and before we knew what was happening, we were bundled into his ute and he drove us direct to our destination..only about 1-1/2 kms…but much appreciated!
Our mantra from tomorrow…”Do not get into strange handsome men’s cars’ /;;;
We waited by the river for a little while but we had made delicious rolls of cheese, meats and tomato before we left this morning, which we ate very happily in the meantime.
I love these cats…
Big day tomorrow…and equally big day,today : )