Monday, October 28, 2013

Walking with Angels. Radicofani to Acquapendente

Well if yesterday was 30 plus kms up hill, today was 30 kms downhill. We started off at 7:15am in the mist. We were the only pilgrims in the facility last night. We saw that Anna Maria from the Netherlands was there yesterday. We had been following someone whose boots were fairly small with not a big gait and I suspected it was a woman's. We had a car rally in town last night. We had seen these little all painted up cars with resonators on going past us. I guess they ran in the night on the gravel roads. We saw a lot of hay bales put up on the sharp corners of the gravel roads. We heard them buzzing around last night when they left town. Our walk today was quite easy compared with yesterday, however going down can be difficult with loose rocks on the footing. We passed land that was not arable and had sheep on it. One big white dog let us know that we weren't to come too close to his flock. As we neared here the landscape seemed to get more scenic and lush. We saw corn being harvested which we hadn't seen in awhile and caterpillars tilling the land on the hillsides. When we walked into town we went to where the tourist office is, and if course it was closed. A lady in an administration office there stamped our credentials and phoned the place here for tonight. We walked over right away and were met by Amalia who let us in and showed us a room. She also phoned for a reservation for us tomorrow night in Bolsena. Amalia showed us where to get a pilgrim meal and what attractions to see in her town. We had to walk on a fairly busy road for awhile today. While we were walking, a car pulled to a stop and asked us where in Canada we were from. They had seen the Canada flag on C's bag. When we told them, they said we are from Victoria, do you know Neville Tencer? When C replied that we did, they took our picture to send to him. They had rented a place here in Tuscany and just happened to see a Via Francigena sign down the road and then spotted us. It was only a few more minutes down the road that we turned off and would have missed them. Amalia told us that she runs a Confraternity here that looks after this building for the church. The person that gave them this building to be used asked that the pilgrims not be charged for staying here. On closer examination of my boots, I might have been a little hasty when I condemned them for not being waterproof. I noticed that they are cracked on the sides. You might even say trashed. They have been through more than most boots ever get abused. I couldn't take them back to MEC and say that they didn't live up to my expectations.
As we get towards the end of this journey, emotions change from one day to the next. Glad when this is over; don't know what we will do when we have to stop walking; we will miss the daily new adventures; we need a rest; ready to go home. Amalia told us to go see the most important church that they have. It is called Basilica del Santo Sepolcro. There has been a church on this location since the 10th century. There is a cript below the church with 24 columns and also shows some of the remanents of the original church. The church was bombed by the allies in 1944 and later restored. The pictures of the bombed church show the enormous devastation inflicted on it. I looked at the screw on top of my (lunch) water bottle, it was really dirty. I used a towel on the threads and lots of dirt came off. I cleaned the cap under the hot water and it looks better now. I call it the lunch water bottle because eating lunch and having something you can actually drink from is better than sucking water through a tube, which is what we do when we are walking. Six weeks of daily use in the dust and dirt plus everything else takes a toll on things. Our packs are starting to look lived in since we stop for breaks or lunch on whatever ground there is to sit on. I really craved another tub of frozen yogurt again and we took our spoons with us but the little store didn't have any so we settled for Pringles and a tin of beer.

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