Pavia to Santa Cristina to Piacenza

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.


Pavias absolutely amazing church, which is currently under reconstruction.




Sorry but lots of tree photos, however the changes in symmetry as we moved past this outcrop, had me fascinated : )

More trees..




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 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 : ) 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 : )

Jo found this discarded umbrella yesterday..which was perfect for today’s hot conditions!





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.


The pontoon to the river where you catch the river taxi.

Our saviour!



Apparently this is the footstep of Sigeric..who paved the way of the VF…hmmmmm : )


I love these cats…




Big day tomorrow…and equally big day,today : )


Netia XX

This entry was posted in La Via francigena. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Pavia to Santa Cristina to Piacenza

  1. Sally Rogers says:

    Hi Netia ,
    Love the splash of red in the scenery photos…You both still look very happy and enjoying your journey .I can’t see any tiredness in your faces !!
    It is as if the young girl knew you were coming!! Do you have scouts ahead of you..hahaha only joking.Love the photos of Jo and the umbrella .Another situation where you make do with what you have got or found !!
    Xavier is keeping us all entertained .He is so cuddly and cute .
    Love lots ..xxxxxx

  2. Georgette Tremblay says:

    Hi Netia,
    I’m following your trek with great interest since the beginning. Keep on going, Netia, one foot at the time, one, in front of the other. You are strong! My thoughts are with you.
    Georgette Québec Canada

  3. Louie Dearias says:

    Hello, great blog. We are doing the VF starting in Pavia Sept 1 arriving in Roma Oct 4th.
    Look forward to following your journey.
    How much was the Po taxi crossing?
    Safe tracvels

    • wheresnetia says:

      Hi Louie, the Po River taxi was 20 euros for the two of us…quite expensive but worth it !
      Have fun on your journey : )

      • Louie says:

        Grazie mille
        Curious, are you encountering many other pilgrims on the VF? Do you stay in Refugio’s or other types of accommodation?
        Where did you start? Where are you from?
        Your comments are very helpful

      • wheresnetia says:

        Very few pilgrims Louie. We are staying in cheap ish hotels mainly and a few religious houses. We’re from Australia.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s