Via Francigena

Mountain hiking is quite a challenge

4. July 2018

Today’s stage is a challenge for the pilgrims and especially for me. I have about 1100 meters of altitude uphill ahead of me and about thirty kilometers of distance. I would like to make a little progress today, for tomorrow there is only a short stage waiting for me. I’m already on the road at nine o’clock, which isn’t exactly my time, and soon I am on my way up. My starting point is Fornovo di Taro, a village that you don’t necessarily have to know. It’s hot again, at nine o‘clock it’s already 30 degrees and more. I sweat and fight my way over the mountains. It is not that we are very high in the mountains here. The highest point is only about 900 meters above sea level.

Thinking too much is not good for you

As I walk on I have a lot of time to think. Sometimes I ask myself if I profit from this pilgrimage at all. At the moment I am quite depressed and helpless. On the way, my pilgrim ladies from Umbria are calling me. They have already arrived in Gubbio and are enjoying the city where St. Francis made peace with the wolf for the inhabitants. This brings back memories to me. On the one hand I am happy for them, on the other hand I am not sure if I am in the right place.

Hl. Franz in Gubbio

I took the shortcut

From Cassio I walk along the main road. A not much frequented road. I walk a few more kilometers. I skip the last ones and hitch a ride. I can avoid a few meters downhill and rest my foot. Tomorrow another similar monster stage is on the agenda . But I will divide it into two parts. Anyway, I am pretty exhausted when I finally arrive. If you’re not really fit, these pilgrim trails in Italy are no walk in the park and cannot be compared to the Camino France. But I am spoiled with lots of beautiful views and good food.