Bolsena to Montefiascone

Hi there,

I’m so tired. I’ve decided the VF Is like being on a huge roller coaster. It seems, that for only a moment, the wonderful carefree existence of hurtling down hill is over in the blink of an eye, before the slow chug up again begins.

Yesterday, was a lovely day ….we were relaxed and very happy to be staying in the Hotel Royal, positioned right on Lake Bolsena. It turned out that our Australian pilgrim friends Janet and Elizabeth, also stayed there last night and are resting there again tonight…lucky them!
Last night, Xavier, Jo and I had a ‘picnic dinner’ of cheese, ham and bread while we sat with the locals to watch the soccer.

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It was a highly entertaining night, with the locals arriving early to claim a position in front of the ‘big’ screen.

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It was really a special thing..to be part of such an important event …Italy vs Spain…and I must say here, my supposition last night that Italy had won..(due to the car horns going off outside my bedroom window)..was incorrect…as you all, I’m sure already know : )

Now, on to today…..the reason for my extreme tiredness : ( Really I can’t fault the walk. Despite many, many up bits…it was really very pretty. However, I think the combination of an early morning, strenuous walking and heat towards the end…has taken its toll on me : (. Early night for me, bed before 9pm! One thing I was thankful for, was my paranoia about never setting off without some food in my pack…there were NO cafes at all in the entire 20 kms that I walked today. I was so lucky to be able to munch on a banana, apple, nectarine and nuts as I walked and when I rested.

Jo and I had planned to meet at what turned out to be a mythical cafe about 6 kms down the track as she was hoping to set off a little earlier than me……but that meeting never happened….

I was up and out the door at 6am again…feeling tired, even then but pleased to be off early. As I was leaving the hotel, I was greeted by Janet and Elizabeth, hanging out their bedroom window, (goodness knows what they were doing up so early, as today is their rest day) It was lovely to have a little farewell chat to them and say my goodbyes. Hopefully we will see them again in Roma, as we all will arrive at roughly the same time.

I set off along the VF track which led me, like a lecherous old man with a box of candy, away from the safety and serenity of the lakes shores, steeply up into the pretty hills beyond. Little was I to know how strenuous my morning would be. On that note however others reading this, who have walked this trail may disagree with me. I’m unsure whether part of my difficulties today may have been also due to being just generally, a little tired. Anyway, tonight will be just a little blog but I want to show you all some photos of my day.

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Beautiful Lake Bolsena in the early morning light. This lake is apparently the largest volcanic lake in Europe.

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A beautiful avenue of plane trees lines the main road leading down to the lake.

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An old sow hurried over to check me out as I trudged past…

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Followed closely by her babies.. : )

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I had beautiful elevated views today looking down onto the lake.

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The signs have now altered slightly…Roma gets a mention: )

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Today the way was through wheat fields, along minor gravel roads, pretty tracks and the best part….many Roman roads, still in some cases in very good order! These roads appeared to be slightly different in construction from the ones we often walked along in France. Here the stones were larger, smooth and flat….but what a credit to the skills of those Romans….I’m not exactly sure of the age of these particular roads but the Romans I think from my very sketchy memory started this system of road building almost 2000 years ago!!! I think they really are one of the many wonders of this world…and when walking along them you can feel a sense of the history….absorbed into the soles of your boots..it’s quite wonderful.

Actually speaking of the soles of my boots…it’s very lucky that we now only have a short distance to go! I was inspecting them this afternoon and although my boots were newish when I set off from Canterbury..they are now definitely on their last legs : ( They will come home with me to Melbourne though and see out their lives.. with pride of place in my bedroom wardrobe..alongside my Camino boots : )

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Ok, I can hear you all saying..that’s enough about you…what happened to Jo! Well, poor Jo had an equally tough day… She set off at 5.30am and chose to walk a little way along the dreaded SS2, a busy main road in this area which connects all the villages..however in early morning is not a problem. She was thinking that she would do a shortcut and meet me at the non existent cafe..that I spoke of earlier, which supposedly was intersected by the SS2 and my path on the VF. To her, this sounded like a great plan… but things went horribly wrong : ( Apparently she was unable to find where to get off this thoroughfare in order to intersect with me and ended up on a highly dangerous stretch of road, which forced her to go bush bashing for a few kms…. Not good!!
When I arrived at the hotel she was flat out on her bed..trying to recover from what sounded like a very stressful morning : (

Montefiascone is another very lovely village, set around the lake from Bolsena but a little more inland. We had dinner tonight in a small restaurant perched above a little square..it was lovely to watch the locals strolling around, interacting amicably, the men gathering in little groups..while the women I suppose, were home preparing the evening meal. That meal I suspect they will be eating right now..as I close my tired eyes and bid you goodnight : )

Tomorrow, we head for Viterbo.

Night to all,

Love Netia XX

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6 Responses to Bolsena to Montefiascone

  1. Treasa B says:

    Netia keep it up you are so close. I will so sad when your walk is over. You and Jo have had the most amazing adventure. It makes me want to hurray along on my own. Thank you for sharing this with us.
    Treasa, in Arizona

  2. Georgette Tremblay says:

    Hi,
    What a great journey, Netia! …. and it’s not over, yet!!
    You must feel such pride and great satisfaction to have walked this far and be so close to Rome.
    Thank you for sharing this adventure with us.
    Georgette, Québec

  3. Elizabeth Wells says:

    WOW Venetia…I love Italy but especially I love the sights sounds and smells of Rome…be careful of the traffic and the little fast cars xxx

  4. jacqueline buchanan says:

    Venetia so that’s what Netia is short for. What a beautiful name. I’ve never heard it before. You’ve both done brilliantly. xx

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