Today was sweet. We had less than 18km between Bolsena and Montefiascone. Although it was uphill the climbs were never that bad. To take advantage of the short day we took a 1km detour right off the bat to get down to the shore of Lake Bolsena.
We did our update and then went to check out these famous volcanic black sands.
And then it was time to get moving…
The walk today was also nice. A large portion of the day was either on farm paths or woodland.
Along the way we met Rafael – American from Baltimore. He is on a multi day package Pilgrimage. That may sound unintentionally disparaging but it is not meant to. Everyone has different time constraints and abilities. Later in the evening we met again and since he’s lived in Rome he has the inside scoop. He has volunteered to show us around Rome when we arrive. So nice.
But the major “event” was the passing of the 100km mark. This marker is placed just inside greater Montificione.
Despite our reaction….
One Hundred kms is significant not only because it is a cool number but because the “rules” of pilgrimage require you walk at least 100km to receive a testimonial. Getting one of these is of no real importance to us other than the souvenir it represents. But in the Middle Ages, this was the document required to prove your pilgrimage was completed. In some cases this was in concert with the receipt of indulgences.
Even with our detour we arrived hours too early to gain entry to the monastery of San Pietro. That’s ok, we were hungry for lunch anyway and we’d spotted a trattoria on our way into the old city.
So we arrived at the restaurant. It was wafting wonderful aromas out of the door. The place looked a little too fancy for pilgrims, but the menu actually offered some good prices. Plus the food was excellent. We splurged on deserts knowing that our dinner was to be at the Monastery and that typically means basic fare.
After a long lunch and finally getting into our room we did the shower and laundry thing. Here I’m going to interject a bit of pilgrim inside info.
Bathrooms have to be the most varied of all rooms in the world. I’ve travelled to over 49 countries and the variety of ways to wash, pee/poop, and shower seem to be infinite. Bidets for example still baffle me as do holes with a garden hose attached.
But in this monastery, and in many others on this pilgrimage, we have the unique set up of a toilet-shower. Now remember, this room is set up for four strangers on four cots to occupy. But in the bathroom (that has neither latch nor key) you will find a seat-less, lid-less toilet lined up with a curtain less shower fixture. “Space-efficient”- indeed….”practical” however, not so much. So there ya go.
After this adventure we took a quick stroll up to the fortress, Rocca dei Papi from where we had beautiful views of Lake Bolsena and unbelievably Radicofani. That hilltop has been visible for 3 days. Crazy.
Well, that’s it folks. Dinner was indeed basic, but filling (pasta, hamburger, spinach, and cauliflower with grapes as dessert). As an interesting note, all the food other than the meat was grown within the monastery- including the wine we drank.
Lastly I should note that we only have 6 days of walking left to go, and they are also slowing down in distance and elevation. Wow.