We had a great nights sleep with the windows open and the sound of rushing water of the kayak course acting as white noise. But we wanted to get out a bit early today so the 6am alarm got us up and moving.
There is an art to getting up, getting dressed and re-packing in a dorm setting. The goal is to get as much done the night before so that you can get out quietly without disturbing the other pilgrims. But backpacks and quick dry bags are notoriously “crinkly” and can make a lot of noise.
We were lucky this time and there was an outer room where we could stash all our stuff so we were as quiet as mice leaving before 7am. We’d been given a coupon for a center-of-town cafe in which to have a croissant and coffee so this was of course our first stop. Pilgrims are always looking to find a good deal.
But even breakfast was quick and soon we were off hiking out of the suburbs and into yet more vineyards and fruit groves. We did see olive trees for the first time and the remaining Alpine foothills disappeared quickly.
We actually crossed from the Valle d’Aosta and into the Piedmont yesterday, but today it was very evident. All the roofing changes dramatically from stone to red tile and it felt very much like the Italy I remember.
We walked past lake Viverone and watched the water sports from a distance. Our day ended in the smaller town of Cavaglia. Our lodging is the municipal Ostello and our friends Carlos and Suzanne ended up at the same place.
Tomorrow and the next few days are complicated. Lodging and villages become more sparse. Options are limited. But for now we are snug in our lodging and we’ve decided to let tomorrow worry about itself. Call it foolish or brave, it’s what we have left in us at this point.
The excitement of the Alps passing is behind us. Honestly we are still having a good time, but we are tired and feeling somewhat worn. That’s natural and not a surprise, but we’ve tried to be pretty honest in this blog and this is the honest truth. Pilgrimage is sometimes really mundane and difficult; it is hard both physically and mentally and often spiritually as well.
The next week will be tough, no lie, but then we get the Appenines and Tuscany and Rome. Finally the greatest and most joyous adventure – returning home to our friends and family.