La Storta to ROMA!!!!

Whoops I just realised that I forgot to post this blog that I wrote last night…must have been all the excitement!

HELLO FROM ROMA !!!!!!!! : )

We really can’t believe it…!!!! After walking an estimated, by the guide books calculation, 2100 kms…we have finally arrived in the simply magnificent city of Roma. We are still pinching ourselves and in reality it won’t be an actuality until tomorrow. Then we will realise that we don’t have to set off at an extraordinary hour in the morning just to beat the heat..we don’t have to search for accommodation and worry about the days food, we wont have to scan maps slavishly and hope that they will point us with dedication to our source, there will no washing that is urgently needed to be swished in a tub and then hung precariously from bedroom windows in order to be dry by the morning light….Tomorrow, will simply be a day of relaxing…….. purrrrrrrrfecto…haha..a little like a kitten languishing in the warmth of a sun filled cosy corner.

We set off this morning at early light.. being not sure of what the walk into Roma was going to bring. Surprisingly, it was not such a problem..the way was relatively safe. There were in most places paths to walk along and only in a few places was it necessary to walk in single file , hugging the kerbs to avoid the passing traffic. The beauty here was….the traffic in to Roma is big city traffic, nothing like we have encountered up until now…. its heavy and slow moving…hehe…a little like some of its residents : )

The walk into Roma.

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The last of the VF countryside vistas for us …

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Haha …welcome to peak hour…something that hasn’t been part of our framework for such a long time!

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We walked through a lovely park as we entered Roma and were very happily presented with a panoramic view of the city…it was about here that the tears started to trickle : )

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With great excitement and anticipation we turned onto Via Ottaviano and walked in a direct line for about 2 kms, towards San Pietro Plaza. I can't begin to describe to you the range of emotions we were experiencing at this moment…..joy, excitement, relief and sadness, just to name a few..

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A few photos of our arrival : )

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It was a strange feeling arriving here in San Pietro Plaza…so many emotions were coursing through our veins….joy, sadness, relief, disbelief…were some of these, just to name a few : ) We felt like calling out to anyone who would care to listen..’We’re here!’ but we were paid very little attention…just a few glances here and there, we’re cast our way. Two ecstatic Australian women, dressed …definitely not to impress : ) but feeling like they had just conquered the world….another little tear is now being shed. I’m only just starting to appreciate myself…our amazing personal achievement : )

Our first task upon arrival, was to collect our Testimoniums from the pilgrims office set within the Vaticans walls. We sat to work out where we had to go and who should stumble upon us but Janet and Elizabeth…they had arrived only yesterday. It was really lovely to see the faces of fellow pilgrims and it was with delight that we learned that they also were off to collect there Testimoniums….and perfectly, they knew exactly where to go!!

A few photos with Janet and Elizabeth and our little walk to collect our certificates.

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Hahaha…: )

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It was hard to wipe those beaming smiles from our faces!

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Here we are holding our precious Testimoniums, with a young Swiss guard, who stands at sentry at the Vatican gates. Being pilgrims, we had privileges to enter the grounds to collect our documents..it was rather special : )

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A well earned celebratory champagne : )

We are staying for the next six nights in an absolutely delightful….small : )…..apartment, owned by a friend of our podiatrist Jason Agosta. First I’d like to thank Jason for giving me Georgies email, so I could make contact with her and have the opportunity to stay in such a fantastic location in Roma but also I would like to thank Jason for the wonderful job he did on fitting our orthotics perfectly..allowing us to have NO feet problems whatsoever , on our pilgrimage from Canterbury. it’s a real credit to his skills!

A few photos of our lodgings in Roma…

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Our little street.

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The entrance.

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Hahah…that’s it!!

Now, I’m not going to go on and on…but I just want to thank Jo for her lovely company and support. Yes, we had our issues..but nothing we couldn’t discuss and sort through. On the whole though, I think we complimented each other well and both brought definite strengths to our little walking partnership. She has been an absolute treasure and I want to thank her for her wit, compassion, organisational skills and warmth.

Well my friends, it’s time for me to go. I feel very sad actually, that this blog is finally ending. It has been a big part of my journey and I’m grateful that I’ve been able to record it through the wonderful use of technology on my little iPad. It’s been a comfort to me that my friends and family in particular, have been able to share a little of it with me and I thank you all for taking the time to read my ramblings.. : ) Oh oh…felling a little emotional again!

Much love and big hugs to all,

Netia X

P.S. Please don’t feel that I am putting any pressure on you because I’m not. However if you intended to donate to wonderful CanTeen and it’s slipped your mind…here’s our donation website, just one last time : )
http://www.everdayhero.com.au/La_Via_Francigena

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50 Responses to La Storta to ROMA!!!!

  1. Hannah Bowen says:

    Omg, Mum, way to get the water works flowing! I keep typing and deleting sentences, trying to describe how proud of you I am, but I literally cannot put it in to words…. You.are.AMAZING! I am so glad you finally can appreciate and feel proud yourself and see what an incredibly inspiring woman you are to all that love you so dearly – and trust me, there are A LOT! Love you so much and you are just GLOWING! I have never seen you look so fantastic and that says a lot because you AlWAYS do! I cannot wait to squeeze you, I really, really miss you xxx Hannah

  2. Treasa says:

    I know I am not the only one who will miss yoyr blog. CONGRATS to both of you on your achievement. I got a little sad and choked up on this your last post and those of us reading will miss your travels.

  3. carol connolly says:

    Bravo , miles of memories forever. The walk exemplifies the person I know , brave , tenacious , focused & spiritual ! Look forward to our coffees again soon , but you must re enter earth for that . Ciao , enjoy Roma & please buy a suitcase & fill it …. you don’t have to carry it now 🙂 XXX

  4. Julie Hocking says:

    Congratulations Netia….Tears flowing for me too!! Thanks for taking the time at the end of each long day to write your ‘ramblings’ and share those wonderful photos. It has been a delight to share your experience.
    So proud of you. You are an inspiration. Enjoy a well earned rest in beautiful Roma and see you very soon. Xox

  5. Jan Cooper says:

    Hello Netia, Congratulations. You and Jo are an inspiration. I have been following your blog since you crossed into Italy. I happened upon it as I was searching for information on walking the Via Francigena for myself. I have looked forward each morning to reading your blog and look at the days photos.I am from Melbourne as well.
    I am not sure that I will ever get to walk the whole route, however I would like to walk a section, preferably in Italy. At some stage, when you have recovered and had time to contemplate from a distance, I would like to ask you if you could recommend a section that would be worthwhile.
    I will certainly miss your daily updates. Good luck with the rest of your trip.

  6. maggie says:

    Thankyou for sharing your trip ,your tales have been informative and interesting reading , I will miss my daily blog time .
    Walkmag
    ..

  7. Leigh Houliston says:

    Well done to the both of you incredible inspiring ladies. I too feel very overwhelmed for the end of the journey (and the blog!) You have made me feel that this is a pilgimage that I may like to embark on one day (after the Camino of course)
    Can’t wait to see Jo Jo soon and may even get to meet you too one day Netia. Thanks for the blog and the inspiration – Congratulations!
    Leigh (Balnarring)

  8. Elizabeth Wells says:

    Fantastic Venetia, so so very happy for you and we are all smiling in delight and cheering in Henao Drive PNG as your journey comes to an end, but it is only beginning…the inspiration you have given us all… if you have a dream, a goal in life, it can be achieved, with a plan in place. The feeling of absolute joy you must be feeling now as you journey through beautiful Rome, it smells, it history, its sounds, its beauty, its tastes, its glory…enjoy enjoy enjoy. I am going to miss your blog. I would take pleasure in heading to the RPYC to just read your blog on the weekend where the internet works at a faster rate. WOW I am so proud of you xxx

  9. Alan Steele says:

    Great effort girls, really enjoyed following yout travels via the blog – thanks so much for taking the time to share with us. BRAVA!

  10. Jill says:

    Wonderful work or should that be walk by you both. many happy memories for a lifetime. Congratulations to you both, much love Jill xxxx

  11. Victoria Middleton says:

    A remarkable adventure undertaken with great thought and sensitivity. You deserve a reward in keeping with the scale of your pilgrimage. I will forward your prizes as soon as the doping results are in and the two of you can prove you have not been under the influence of local produce. Cheers and good health forever to you both. Lots of love from D and V.

  12. Sally Rogers says:

    Now it is my turn …Hmmmmm…… What can I say that has not been said already ……
    .I am just bursting with pride and admiration for what you both have achieved ….
    And a little sad I won’t be reading ‘wheresnetia’ for the time being !!Not until the next adventure anyway ………!!Looking forward to seeing you soon and just giving you a big cuddle ,
    lots of love ,Sally xxxooo

  13. FĂ©licitations to both of you! What a great journey it has been, Netia!
    I will miss your daily adventures that’s for sure!…..maybe until next time!
    God speed and have a safe return home.
    Georgette, Québec

  14. Claude Essiembre says:

    Congratulations Netia and be proud of what you have accomplished. I have really enjoyed reading your blog. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Reblogged this on xavierswitzerland and commented:
    Great site and great pictures, enjoy both your final days in Italy (for 2012!!!)
    Cheers
    Xavier

  16. Andreas Degasperi says:

    Congratulations from Austria. I have enjoyed follwing your journey. It was also an experience for me;-) You both did a great job. Thank you for the blog and the fotos. Enjoy your days in Rome. Shure for me: I will go the FV also.
    Thank you and congratulations
    Andi

  17. Chris says:

    Well done Jo and Netia. I’m pleased you made it. I have been following your progress day by day. I finished my cycling tour without incident after covering 2240km. I met you in St Maurice when I was on 450km. Have a nice break and prepare yourselves for some winter weather down under.
    Chris xx

  18. Andreas Degasperi says:

    Congratulations from Austria. You both did a really good job. Thank you for your daily reports and the wonderful pictures. On this way, it was also an adventure for me;-)
    Enjoy your last days in Rome and good luck for your entry back in “normal life”.
    I found your blog during surching for informations to a pilgrims-way in Italy. Because of your blog for me it’s shure, it will be the FV.
    Greetings
    Andi

  19. Andreas Degasperi says:

    Congratulations from Austria. You both did a really good job. Thank you for your daily reports and the wonderful pictures. On this way, it was also an adventure for me;-) Enjoy your last days in Rome and good luck for your entry back in “normal life”.
    I found your blog during surching for informations to a pilgrims-way in Italy. Because of your blog for me it’s shure, it will be the FV.
    Greetings
    Andi

    • wheresnetia says:

      Thank you Andreas, for your comments. if I can assist you with your own pilgrimage in Italy, I would only be to happy to help : )

      • Andreas Degasperi says:

        Thank you very much for that offert. I will come back to that as soon as my VF is possible. Sorry for three notices. It’s my first time in a blog;-(

  20. jacqueline buchanan says:

    I too have a tear in my eye but its also from where I laughed out loud at the photo number 15. Jo you started my day off brilliantly. I love that expression..
    Thanks girls xx

    • wheresnetia says:

      Hi Jackie, I tried to send you an email to see if there was any specific questions you want answering before you go. Please email me if you have any concerns as now I have time to reply,

  21. Jane mcLaughlin says:

    Dear Netia congratulations on your huge effort both your walk and blogs have been amazing and I am sure they will lead to other great things . I feel a book should be in the future

  22. Jane mcLaughlin says:

    Lots of love to you girls we will miss the posts but it will be great to see you –how’s your Italian ? Sorry the other post was sent too soon but we all send our love and hugs just take time to savour the last few days together x Jane

  23. Lesley says:

    Wow, I sat down a few hours ago and started reading as you were packing for the Camino and have just read you into Rome. I only took breaks to eat and go to the loo!!! This is truly inspiring and moving – that is the most incredible journey. I had just started to envision a pilgrimage for myself and then found your blog – you have made it very real and I can now actually see myself walking the Camino. Thank you.

    Where are you off to next?

    • wheresnetia says:

      Hi Lesley, so glad you enjoyed our journey..it was truely wonderful! Not sure where I will go next but lots of thoughts going through my little brain..but rest assured it won’t be long before I’m off again. You must do the Camino, it’s a wonderful walk and easy to do solo, if that’s what you were thinking. Netia.

  24. Mandy Castles says:

    Congratulations you wonderful lady! i have loved sharing your journey as much as i could through your delightful blogs, you really should turn them into a book. what a pity there wasnt a welcoming party on your arrival into Roma – yes you should’ve yelled at the top of your lungs – WE DID IT! cant wait to see you and enjoy your remaining days in italy. loads of love M xxxxxxx

  25. Alan Thomas says:

    Jo, Netia, it was wonderful to meet you both as you neared the end of your amazing journey. Viv and I were delighted to hear of your adventures, and can imagine the mixture of joy, relief and sadness that must accompany the ending of the trip. Have a safe trip back to Australia, and when we’re visiting your way we’ll be sure to look you up. Love and huge respect, Alan & Viv xxxx

  26. Elizete says:

    Netia, Jo, congratulations!!!!!! What an amazing achievement and what an inspiration you have been. I will miss reading your blog, truly enjoyed it. Hope you plan to turn it it into a book.
    I’l be looking froward to hearing of your next adventures. Take care xxx

    • wheresnetia says:

      Hi Elizete, thankyou so much for you comments and support : ) Back in Melbourne now, dreaming of the next walk! There could be a book to write…who knows, food for thought. Anyway, Ill be in touch, much love, Netia XX

  27. Jason Agosta says:

    we have le tour, we have the olympics, but……..there is netia and jo. so so good! enjoy rome and hi to georgie when you meet her. thanks for the nice words, but truley a real pleasure knowing you both and what you have done. incredible. JA

  28. Carol F says:

    I found your blog whilst looking up info on the Comino. You are such an inspiration and I was enthralled. I live in Brisbane and am desperate to do the journey next year. I too am spiritual, but not religious and have reached a cross road in my life where I could do with some spiritual awakening and insight to make some life changing choices…. Thank you Netia. I have even thought of flying to Melbourne to have a wine and a chat with you!

  29. Hi Netia
    I hope, you had a good return to australia.
    Now I have some questions to you, but I do not find your email-adresse. Can you give me your link to “andreas.degasperi@degasperi.at”?
    Thank you
    Andreas

  30. kitsambler says:

    Brava to both of you! I know how much perseverance, grit, and gumption this took. Congratulations on reaching the end of this journey, safely and still on speaking terms with each other. I found your comments on the Swiss section very helpful, as I plan to walk there on the eastern bit of the Via Jacobi next year. Your plans for opening a pilgrim accommodation on the VF sound wonderful; I know many gite owners on the Le Puy route are former pilgrims, including several expats. Good luck planning your next journey!

    Kind regards,
    Kitsambler
    (http://kitsambler.wordpress.com)

  31. Carol Fayers says:

    Hi Netia. Just wondering if you would be around on weekend of 1-2 December, or the weekend after, to chat about the Camino etc. Would you mind replying to my email – cfayers@bigpond.net.au.

    I am the person that wrote the message above on 23 July!

    Warm regards

    Carol F

  32. Yvonne McNeil says:

    Hi Netia. Congratulations! What a fabulous blog that I stumbled upon just recently whilst trying to find info about the VF. You literally walked me along every single kilometre to Rome and had me hooked even before you left England. Is there any chance I could email you to ask 3 questions please? I have walked to Santiago but this pilgrimage looks even more of a challenge in so many ways.
    Kind regards
    Yvonne McNeil
    New Zealand

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