Monday, 16 July 2007

Pilgrimage from St Bernard to Aosta 13/07/07

I was woken at 07:00 by the sound of little kids running a muck, but it meant I was ready to leave by 8am.

As I was heading out the woman who runs the hospice spotted me and invited me for breakfast. Thanks :)

The walk down the mountain was awesome. I was soooooo glad I was going down and not up. It was definitely worse than the other side!

It also had a stunning view…Italy was looking great so far. :)

All was going well until I hit this small village in the middle of nowhere and got confronted by these dogs…

I have only had one encounter so far with a vicious dog and that turned out fine. It was when I was walking along one of the canals in France a Doberman looking thing was blocking my path barking furiously. I didn’t know what to do at first as there was no way around it and no owners in sight, so I just said in my head that “if you are still there by the time I get to you I am going to rip your fucking head off”. The dog got the message and after I took three steps towards it, it turned and ran…

Today I wasn’t so lucky. As I walked into this town, a dog ran up barking and growling. I wasn’t too intimidated, as I was confident I could stare it down, but as I walked past it his friend came around the corner and decided to join in the fun. They had me flanked and for a second I lost my confidence. Feeling my weakness they moved in for the kill and just as I had that moment where you know you are going to have to fight your way out of a situation, the owner of the big dog comes sprinting out of her house and threw herself at him. Luckily that took them both off guard and they settled down. After they had been told off they came back over, we shook hands and made friends :) It certainly got my adrenaline pumping!

After reaching the next town I decided to have my first Italian meal. I got a plate of lasagna and a plate of meat and potatoes all for €13. It was great and the staff were super cool as well.

They rest of the walk was pretty painful as it was starting to get hot.

You are probably sick of me complaining about the rain and the cold so from now on I will be complaining about the heat :)

By the time I got to town I was sun burnt and exhausted. The tourist information informed me that there was nowhere that put up pilgrims in town, and no YHA. The cheapest place was €20 so I went for a look.

There wasn’t any single rooms available so being to tired to walk around searching I took one for €35.

I took my dirty clothes down to the laundry and the woman behind the counter said they would be ready in an hour. I had forgotten that time has a bit of a different meaning as you start getting this close to the equator. When I went back to pick them up an hour and a half later, she told me they wouldn’t be ready till Monday!!! After a bit of negotiation she agreed to have them ready by the morning.

Being a Friday night I was pretty keen to go out for a drink but after taking a shower I realized that the only clothes I had were the ones I was wearing…a sweaty top and shorts. I didn’t even have any socks! It saved me from going clubbing anyway ;)

I did however find his great little café with a gorgeous blonde haired, blue eyed Italian waitress, who had couldn’t speak any English, and had absolutely no interest in me whatsoever…it was all good fun though :) The owner gave me a tour of Italy by wine so it ended up being a great night.

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