Buona Sera : )
Well today was the grand finale! It seemed that the mighty Via Francigena was well aware of this fact, so dealt us all it’s cards in one day…. Let me explain.
The day started beautifully. The morning when we left at 6 am was lovely. Not a cloud in the sky but the air was crisp and the light, crystal clear.
We walked buoyantly, feeling fresh after we both had a good nights sleep and ready to arrive at the sisters in La Storta in the late morning. We had been warned by Xavier that the way was very confusing in its marking after Formello…so we made a pact between ourselves as we left the hotel, that we would remain vigilant throughout the day….both feeling confident however,as I had the VF clearly marked on my iPad..as you all know. Are you starting to sense where this is leading : (
A few photos of our mornings walk.
We walked into the interesting little village of Formello, about 6 kms down the track..at 7.15am. We were making great time, so we sat in a little cafe and had a coffee and our breakfast.. All was good, we sat for a while watching the locals come and go, just observing…a skill I might add, we have developed to perfection : )
It really was a very pleasant morning but before just a few hours had passed, the temperature was starting to climb. It was to our absolute delight that the VF led us down a little track to a gently flowing creek. It didn’t take us long to peel off our sweaty boots and socks and wade indulgently in the freezing waters… an utter treat : )
Now it was about this time, when the temperature was climbing, that I reached for my beloved hat.
It was with complete shock, that I found it wasn’t hanging patiently, as it always does, on the front of my pouch! I repeat..it wasn’t there! It had been swinging gaily in front of me as we set off..I’m sure of that… but somewhere along the track I had lost it : ( The most obvious place for its departure from my side was at the cafe in Formello, so I pinned my hopes on returning there after we had arrived in La Storta and once again being reunited with it. I spent the next little while walking in silence. After a bit, I laughed with Jo about how I would react when I finally found it. I jokingly planned to wield my nail scissors at it threateningly, until it shrinked into submission ,vowing never to leave my side again…especially in conditions where I am in most need of shelter. Then I planned to soften my approach when it appeared that it may have learned its lesson and we laughed about giving it a good wash, decorating it with sunflowers and parading it proudly, in it’s full glory at the Melbourne Cup this year! We even planned my dress to compliment it : )
The sad truth is though…that special hat is gone…lost.: ( I indeed, went back to that cafe this afternoon but there was no hat it sight. I guess the point of my little story is, each of our precious items in our packs have such special significance to us. We are now carrying ONLY those items that we both feel we specifically need. There’s no excess!! Absolutely everything in our packs we need and use on a day to day basis : ) My hat was special…and I hope the person who may have found it..appreciates it for its fine attributes..It had been my companion for almost 2100 km along the VF and also 800 kms on the Camino de Santiago…. : )
Shortly after the discovery that my hat was lost….WE got lost!!! We still have no idea how this happened…but we were seriously off the track and with the help of my trusty iPad maps I managed to steer us back on course….but dare I say it in the wrong direction, back towards Formello! Jo was very trusting…she’s the guru when it comes to directions and she very encouragingly left it to me to regain our bearings…. : ( I have mentioned before on this blog, that lack of direction is one of my MANY failings and it shone brilliantly today…
Anyway, the long and the short of it is…we arrived finally at La Storta…very tired and very late but exceptionally pleased to be here. The Sisters are simply beautiful, so happy and full of love. They are an exceptionally interesting group of women and it’s wonderful to share their company. As I was writing this blog tonight , they drifted in and out, sitting for a chat here and there..and through very limited language exchange, we managed to share a few stories : )
Well, I must go to bed now. We plan to set off for Roma at about 5.15 am in order to avoid the worst of the traffic. I think it’s only about a 16 km walk…so lots of coffee stops along the way….but I think it may be the only stretch of the VF where I can confidently say this, without a doubt : )
Big, big day tomorrow. It’s completely absurd to even start to fathom its reality…
Night to you all,