After a great sleep in the awesome Templar donativo at Corte San’Andrea and a slow morning we began our short walk to the Po river.
At this same location over 1000 years ago Sigeric also crossed the Po after paying the ferryman his wage. Of course he was going the opposite direction, but still, a ferry crossing is part of the record and we would cross as well.
The Ferryman of the Po (Best watched with the volume down or off).
The ferryman in this case is Danillo.
He has been operating a service for pilgrims for over 30yrs and each pilgrim is dutifully recorded in his walnut backed and leather bound pilgrim book.
It was a treat to be added to his book and to review his records showing the details of each pilgrim. It seems we may have been the first Americans to cross this year and only the 162nd and 163rd for all time.
There are several interesting things at Danillo’s house but my favorite, other than the book itself, was his massive Pilgrim stamp. This thing is huge.
The walk from Danillo’s to Piacenza was pretty but mostly streets. Large open bed trucks full of tomatoes flew pass in a hurry occasionally losing ripe tomatoes along the way.
Crossing the Trebbia “river” was odd. A massive bridge crosses the river, but at this time of year it was completely dry. The Trebbia feeds into the Po at Piacenza, ….well, it would, if there was any water in it.
In Piacenza we viewed the basilica of Sant’Antonio and noted the dedication to Pope Gregory X who was born in the city.
While Allison and I sat on the steps of the Duomo with Jean Yves eating yet another dry tuna sandwich we looked around at others. Jean Yves noted: “you know they are all looking at us saying ‘poor people’. Funny thing is, we were looking at them saying the same thing.
The rest of the day was a blur. Not a blur of excitement, but a monotonous blur of passing cars and trucks as we walked along a very busy highway. It was far from safe and a small misstep could have been really scary. So for over three hours we plowed along at a rapid pace, head down, focusing on our feet and the traffic zooming past us.
For our efforts we logged over 20mi and after tomorrow we will be in Fidenza a day ahead of plan. It wasn’t intentional. It was purely a matter of the spacing of available lodging.
Despite the miles we opted for a very simple dinner (a chicken leg and some mushrooms for me, and a cutlet and fries for Allison). The bed will feel great tonight.