Current Day Cumulative
Distance walked miles 17.5 33.0
Gross climb feet 180 370
Net climb feet 5 31
Song of the day: Amazing Grace (as we are in Italy, I'm going with the Andrea Bocdlli version- terrific- check it out on YouTube):
"I once was lost but now I'm found
Was blind, but now I see"
This day ended up being much longer and harder than we anticipated. The short story is we got lost walking through a farming area. We were very carefully following the instructions in our guidebook, when all of a sudden we found ourselves in the middle of a field, waste deep in wheat. For about 30 minutes, we wandered about, trying to figure out how to get out the mess we were in. All of sudden we look up and see some guy jogging by, about 100 yards out! Ah yes, there was the trail again! Apologies to the wheat farmer whose field we probably ruined!
In an attempt to try and make up time later in the day, we decided to take a "short cut" along a highway. Well, turns out, this was a very, very busy road, with virtually nowhere to walk along side the highway. Cars and trucks are zooming by at 70 miles per hour. This went on for about 2 miles and scared the hell out of us. And while it was shorter from a distance standpoint, I suspect it didn't save us any time because we constantly were ducking cars and jumping out of the way. Thank god, we lived to talk about it! Note to self: stay off the busy highways in the future....
Last night, we stayed in a very beautifully restored farm house in the small village of Spessa. Unfortunately, the hotel was located right next to the church. They rang the damn bells all night long, on the half hour! Is this really necessary at 2am?! Then, starting at 6 am, another set of bells started ringing every 30 minutes from somewhere else. I would like to think we might catch up on our sleep tonight, but our hotel is located at the intersection of two very busy highways (one is the highway we nearly got run over earlier in the day!) and the room is very loud.
"Bars" are the places that you go to get coffee, cokes, snacks, etc. Today, we went in three different bars along the way to get breakfast, snack breaks, etc. Every one of them had Chinese people at the bar. The manager of the hotel last night told us that the Chinese have bought up all of the bars in the area, and they also operate other businesses including discos and "sex clubs". I asked him if they are also taking over the Italian restaurants. He replied, no because nobody would eat Italian food made by a Chinese! I asked him if the Italians liked the women at the sex clubs...Apparently, they won't eat the food made by the Chinese, but they don't mind their women at the sex club! Well, everybody has priorities...
Apparently the Chinese in Italy is a relatively new phenomenon. I always find immigration patterns interesting. I recall reading a story in the Wall Street Jounal several years ago about how Indians control something like 40% of all motels in the USA.
Today must have been fertilizer day, because many of the fields had the smell of fresh stinky fertilizer. Made for some tough walking at times.
This evening, we went to a local cafe where they were celebrating "slow foods". They had a band and were giving away all kinds of delicious local food. Interesting that they use the same English word "slow foods" in Italy as we use in the USA. It was a lot of fun.
We also walked by a famous castle in the area today. We decided to take a "selfy" to get Linda and I in a picture with the castle. I don't think it turned out very well. Last week, Linda and I were at an outdoor restaurant in San Franciso, and we saw anAsian girl taking a series of "selfies", using a 4 foot pole with her iPhone on the end! I need to get one of those special selfy poles!
We also came across an interesting yard that certain old ladies reading this blog might enjoy. At least old ladies who live in Utah. You know who you are! Anyway, this yard was totally filled with gnomes and other garden statuary (don't you love that word "statuary"?). Linda then proceeded to talk to the old guy tending the yard, although I'm not sure we understood what he was saying. Another old guy came up to and told us how he loved pelligrinos (pilgrims). He said he walked to Rome in 1992 and had also walked the Camino in Spain 3 times! At least that's what we think he said!
Walking and exercise is a terrific way to get over jet lag. Years ago when I used to travel to Singapore a lot, I would often arrive in Singapore early morning. I would get cleaned up and go in the office to work for the day. Then in the evening, we would go out and play a round of golf on one of the lighted golf courses. I would be in bed by 10 pm, dead tired and ready to go the next day.
Injury report: we were very optimistic that we would reduce our injuries on this trip compared to our experiences on the Camino. Unfortunately, Linda got a very large blister today on the heal of her foot today. She punctured it with a needle (and left thread in the blister to keep it from closing up,again). Hopefully it will heal well and all will be fine.
Another fairly long day tomorrow- probably 17 miles.