Monday, 9 July 2012

Prost von Pavia!

And so, now we are three - I have been walking with a Pole, Andreas Brusti, who is also walking from Canterbury to Rome, this last two days and, now, Jock Davis who worked with me in the Army for many years has also arrived. Pilgrimville suddenly got crowded.

From Vercelli I headed back into the mosquito infested rice paddies to Mortara where, with Andreas, I stayed in a restored abbey, the Abbazia di San Albino. The heat is crippling, indeed Thursday temperatures of 42 degrees (114 F) are being talked of so, to get ahead in the day, we start earlier and earlier; Sunday we walked straight from Mortara (about 40km) in one hop. Our rate of march falling from 6km per hour to 3kmh by the end of a very long day indeed.

Pavia is a delight, the mosquitoes think so too; me dish of the day particularly it would appear. It is here that Charlemagne and the Kings of the Longobards were crowned and Saint Augustine is enshrined in the Basilica San Pietro.

Tomorrow starts an exciting phase as we set off at 5.30am to cross the Rover Po, a two day exercise leading us to Santa Cristina and then down to the banks of the river to meet Danilo Parisi who owns the little boat that will carry us downstream towards Piacenza. A very special moment in this great adventure; he is one of the Via's great characters.

Photos: the bridge at Pavia; the Abbazia Sant Albino; St Augustine's tomb; with Gigi, Franca (who run the hostel) and Andreas (beard) at Sant Albino.

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