Date: Thursday 9 August
Distance to Rome: 63.2/1027km
Terrain: gloriously flat
Overnight: Monasterio Franciscani Cappuccini, €donation.
Feeling: absolutely knackered x 2
This was another huge day, but I ‘cheated’ today and instead of following the designated walking route, I got smart and followed the cycling route which hugged the river virtually all the way to Chatillon.
The very thought of yet more cruel climbs and descents brought tears to my eyes and I knew I physically could not tackle that sort of terrain today, without doing some sort of permanent damage to my legs. That may sound a tad dramatic, but the day was about preservation not recreation!
So with every muscle screaming I set off in the early morning light to make the most distance I could while it was still cool. Even at 6am it is around 17℃ and only gets warmer from there.
The scenery was quite beautiful as the path twisted and turned with the river. Unfortunately the valley is also dominated by a four lane autostrada, so as well as the constant roar of river water you have the constant roar of traffic.
Fellow walkers will know that at the end of a long walking day, your accommodation will always be located at the top of a very steep hill. Today was no different.
Unlike the Spanish caminos, the via Francigena does not have the same sort of albergue accommodation. Instead you get to stay at monasteries and convents. What this monastery lacked in sophistication they made up for with a warm welcome. However I am not sure whether you have ever tried to use a squat toilet when every leg muscle is screaming at you not to bend or move an inch. It is not a pretty sight, but you have to laugh…or at least grimace.
I shared my room with a drop dead gorgeous Italian man and a vivacious French woman. I left them to it to go out to dinner and I passed out with exhaustion!
Sorry, not many photos today. I just had to get the day done.