Friday, 20 July 2007

Pilgrimage from Santhià to Vercelli 18/07/07

Just to top off being perfect hosts Andrea prepared me breakfast this morning before I left. You guys are great!

He also must have thought I was underestimating the weight of my backpack because he got out the scales and was right. My pack weighed in at 29kgs!!! I couldn’t believe it. No wonder I was struggling at the start.

The Santhià church is beautiful. It has a painted ceiling and an impressive crypt. They were having a service so I couldn’t get any photos of the ceiling but a woman spotted me as a pilgrim and snuck me downstairs.

It was a straight, hot walk once again with very little to brake the monotony. Thank God for my mp3 player.

I found out why there are so many mosquitoes…this province is covered in rice fields! I didn’t know Italy grew so much rice.

Upon arriving in Vercelli I went straight to St Andrews Basilica which I had been told was a must see. It was pretty cool.

I then decided that it had been too long since I had had a beer for lunch so it was off to the piazza. It ended up being a very pleasant day relaxing and watching the people go by.

My next couchsurfing host was Stefano. He is a very interesting guy. He has studied martial arts for many years, speaks Japanese and does shiatsu, just to brush the surface.

I met him at 18:00 and he took me back to the shiatsu studio where he lets his guests stay. It was like having my own little apartment as it had a shower and all. Thanks :)

Then just after I had a shower Dan rang. He was still in Ivrea but is finally pulling the plug. Rather than spending the last of his money just to get to Rome, he figures he should go and enjoy it. So he is off to Split.

He said he would catch a bus down to Vercelli to say goodbye.

Stefano was having pizza with his workmates later that night and said that I was more than welcome to come along. I said that I would…

It turned out to be a mistake. Just after ordering I started to feel really strange. I got half way through my first glass of wine and thought that I either had to go and throw up, go lie in the car or both. I went and took a five minute rest in the toilet and started to feel slightly better.

I have had sunstroke once before so I was pretty sure this was the problem. I had walked the last 5kms without a shirt and even though I wasn’t burnt I think it did me in.

After getting back to the table I gave up on the wine and started downing the water. It was helping a bit but then my meal arrived. I had absolutely no appetite at all and everyone at the table wanted to ensure that I liked my meal…and since they already thought it was a bit strange that I had stopped drinking my wine I didn’t want to disappoint them any more. Italians take their wine and food very seriously :)

It took me a while but luckily I managed to finish. They were a really cool bunch of people and it was a shame I was not in a more sociable mood.

After dinner we went to pick Dan up in the city center. He is happier than I have seen him since we started. It’s good to see.

I was still feeling like crap so it was straight back to the studio to sleep.


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