Distance walked-miles. 18.8. 453.1
Gross climb- feet. 1370. 34, 786
Song of the day: Pancho and Lefty, written by Townes Van Zandt, performed by several, my favorites include Willie Nelson and also Steve Earle.
Pancho needs your prayers it's true, but save a few for Lefty too
He only did what he had to do, and now he's growing old
Why did I choose this song? Well, it has to with ponchos (not Pancho....). Plus, it's just a great, great piece of song writing. When we left the hotel at 8 this morning, the streets were damp from the night rain, but it looked to be a very good day for hiking. About 3 minutes later, it started to sprinkle. We hesitated to put on our ponchos, but then it started raining harder. Out come the ponchos and stay on for about 90 minutes, as we walked in a steady rain. Virtually all this portion of the walk was on paved streets or gravel roads.
Just as were arriving at Formello, the rain let up. We stopped at a cafe, had a coffee and took our ponchos off. It continued to thunder and lightning, but no rain. We strapped our ponchos to the back of our backpacks and took off again. After about an hour, Linda asked where was my poncho? Damn, it fell off the back of my pack and I lost it! I kept my fingers crossed that it wouldn't rain anymore on our hike today, and what do you know, it didn't! Shortly after we checked into our hotel, a huge storm hit and it poured! I will need to find a poncho when we are in Rome, because I suspect it will rain in Switzerland often.
Even the cows were trying to avoid the rain today:
Considering that we are less than 20 miles from Rome, the walk today was amazingly rural, almost bucolic.
We also forded a river. We could imagine this one being dangerous if the water were just a little higher:
Finally, after walking through a couple suburbs of Rome for what seemed like forever, we arrived at our destination. The hotel is very nice, but it was almost impossible to find. So, we ended up walking further than we should have today (folks, is this starting to sound as repetitive to you as it is to us?). Unfortunately, all the restaurants were closed by the time we arrived, so we will have to wait until 7:30 when they open again (hopefully...). In the meantime, we will have a little picnic in our room, that will include what we have begun to refer to as "Italian caviar", also known as tuna packed in olive oil! We eat it straight from the can, on little toast slices that we have lifted off the breakfast Buffett... Gourmet eating at its best.
I have now given the news of the day, plus the weather report. Time for a sports update...First, the good news, Italy won its first game of the World Cup last night. The game didn't start until midnight Italy time. Unfortunately the San Francisco Giants blew another lead in the 9th inning and lost again to Colorado. And it looks like a German is going to the US Open Golf tournament!
Tomorrow we arrive in Rome. We will take an early morning train into the city and then walk to St Peters Sq to get our "graduation certificate." It is simply too dangerous to walk into the city from here, as the only way is along a very busy highway, usually with no sidewalk. We are only about 8 miles from St Peters. We walked on the highway for perhaps a mile today, and it scared the bejesus out of us. Funny enough, all the guide books recommend taking a train or bus into Rome! It's a challenging task to overlay ancient hikes on top of modern cities!