Well here we are in Fidenza…we arrived nice and early, had a yummy lunch and glass of cold vino, found somewhere to sleep, washed our clothes and answered emails…and then had a tiny little nap : ) Perfecto!!
Yesterday we walked about 18-20 kms, of a very long 33 km stage and then we aborted our mission! Sorry to all you purists out there but the way was just tooooooo difficult to follow. Also.. it was tough..long flat, sometimes uninteresting stretches on barely marked paved roads, tough on those tired feet..that have already traversed such a long way : ) At this stage of our journey..we have walked..I think almost…very roughly 1300- 1400 kms!!! Such a long way…and we still have some of the most lovely countryside to come.
However more importantly, Jo was feeling unwell. We crossed our fingers yesterday that she had just a minor flu type virus, that would pass rapidly…. and it seemed to have worked, as today she woke feeling considerably better. With these factors taken firmly into the final decision making process, we scanned our GPS maps…and noted that we had a long 13 km stretch in front of us with not a village in sight, taking us into our destination Fiorenzuola. With resigned expressions we were about to shut down my iPad and continue on our way…when I spotted a small village about 5 kms to the right of our path. With no need of convincing from either of us, off we set in its direction, happily entertaining the thought of a short taxi ride to Fiorenzuola when we arrived there…and that’s exactly what happened!! : )
Yesterday was a difficult walk..to say the least. As I have already mentioned it was long, flat and hot..and a little boring but presented us with several challenges, none the less.
First there was a river to cross!
As the morning was warm…I was happy to remove my boots and thick socks and wade..sometimes knee deep through the cool waters, feeling the smooth river pebbles gently massaging the soles of my weary feet : )
There were a few worrying moments before and after the river crossing, as the way was entirely missing in this section and if it had not been for our excellent GPS map…thankyou Alberto : ) we would have had great difficulty finding our way out of this area.
The other main problem with this section of our route today was the sporadic nature of the way marking. At one stage we had a sense that the locals were unhappy with us traipsing through their area..their reception towards us was unusually cool and a little complacent (more often than not we are generally greeted with good humour..even though it’s generally laced with stunned surprise ..). At one little farm yard that we walked through, someone had nailed a fallen VF sign to the side of their garage, where it pointed aimlessly across a field of corn. There were other incidences whereVF signage was completely misleading, which made us wonder whether the locals were having a little game with us…..
A cute little farmyard scene from yesterday.
Today we met Hugo for a quick coffee at 8.30 and then set off on our separate paths. We had decided to take the road route today to Fidenza, which amounted to about 17.5 kms…as the VF route was about 24 kms …the path that Hugo chose to walk. We had a desire to try and arrive at our accommodation in the early afternoon so we could rest and be prepared for the difficult, mountainous, stages ahead.
Oh mi god…have a look at this shop!!!!
A few more photos from today…..
And one final one…hanging out in Fidenza….
I’m looking forward to tomorrow : ) The hot, flat plains will be behind us and the mountains hopefully will provide shelter from the sun..bringing a new perspective to our days. These next few stages however….according to the guide books will be tough. Very long distances to travel between villages and indeed accommodation..and at times difficult terrain.
I think it’s good though to mix it up a little… don’t they say..variety is the spice of life? : )
Love to all,