Friday, 10 August 2007

Pilgrimage from Civitavecchia to Palo 08/08/07

It seems I didn’t learn my lesson well enough the other night… :(

I was woken up at 04:30 with things crawling all over me. I got out my torch and sure enough I had left my flap open a touch and an army of ants had moved in…

They were only small and didn’t appear to bite, so considering I wanted to get up at 05:30 anyway, I just curled up in my sleeping bag and went back to sleep :)

I have now been three days without a shower or a swim and have developed quite a nice layer of dirt. Curled up in my sleeping it soon turned to mud! It was an extremely pleasant sensation waking back up at 05:30…very sticky :)

And then I had to deal with the ants. Everything got unpacked and had a good shake. Just what I wanted to be doing first thing in the morning!

It was a pleasant sunrise though, and a perfect temperature for walking so I made good time before breakfast.

I haven’t been able to find a good map of the area because it’s holidays and everyone has sold out. It’s not such a problem for the route, as I don’t think I can get lost from here (touch wood), but it would be nice to plan where to stay and to find out exactly how far the Vatican is.

Spotting a sign for a Tourist Information office, I followed it to this place called Santa Severa. There is an old castle here, but not too much to see. When I enquired about a map, the only one they had would be good for about 300m down the road :(

It did however mark some ruins and when I asked about these I was told, “You might be able to see them. You have to go next door to the little museum and ask the man there. If he is in a good mood he will let you, otherwise…” then they just shrugged :) Italians are great!

I went next door and luckily the man was in a good mood, he promptly invited me in and I got my own private tour of the museum. I have to admit this made it much more interesting…even if it was all in Italian. Probably one of the nicest museum visits I’ve ever had ;)

We then went down to check out the ruins but there wasn’t much left. Only the foundations but it was still good to have a look.

At around 16:00 I decided to stop for the night at this little town Paulo. This would leave me 40-50kms for the last two days. Too easy :)

I found a parish and even though they didn’t have room for pilgrims, the caretaker, Mario, let me camp in the back yard. The best thing was I could get a shower!!! It was cold but who cares, it was great!

I did have a bit of a miscommunication with him though…

He couldn’t speak any English and I though he wanted to try my sunglasses on, he obviously asked if he could have them :) So after I agreed, he was a bit surprised when I asked for them back as he was leaving…

Very amusing :)

Luckily he didn’t hold it against as later, he happily bought me out a HUGE plate of polenta.

I was in my tent watching a movie, which Mario was sure must be a porno, when dinner arrived. I have to admit that it wouldn’t be completely unknown for a porno to accidentally find its way on to my computer, so I was lucky that this one wasn’t because Mario thought he better check :)

He also didn’t leave until I had finished the whole plate. I tried stop a couple of times but without any luck. I HAD to eat it all! It got to the point where I was considering trying to stash the last few mouthfuls under my tongue because I was sure I was going to pop. Luckily I didn’t, but it didn’t make me feel so good…maybe Mario did hold the sunglass thing against me after all ;)

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