Today was a walking day.
Jennifer and I needed to walk, because we haven’t really stretched out since leaving Australia. Also though we needed to check our GPX tracks, to see if it all worked okay.
This Via di Francesco – The Way of St. Francis – is not as well travelled as the Camino Frances, or the Portuguese Camino. Today we walked an entire stage, and didn’t see one other pilgrim on the trail.
Also, the route is not as well waymarked as the Camino – there are some signs, but they’re intermittent, and as well, they don’t have km markings, they have figures which I can only assume represent the walking time to the destination.
But not everyone walks the same pace!
Anyway, it doesn’t matter because we have the route all marked out for us with GPX coordinates, which we can follow on our iPhones using a GPS app.
Our dear friend Arlene, who is shortly taking her first tour on the Camino Portuguese, put us onto a terrific app called MotionX GPS. And the GPX route files have been generously provided to us by Sandy Brown, whose comprehensive guide book on the Via di Francesco is soon to be published.
So today Jennifer and I set out to see if everything worked ok – the app, the coordinates, the route laid out as recorded by Sandy when he walked from Florence to Rome last year, gathering all his detailed information for his book.
And it all worked a treat. With this setup you follow a track that’s marked on a map on your iPhone, and if you leave that track it’s very quickly apparent. Fabulous!
We didn’t set out to walk the whole route – 13kms from Sansepulcro to Citerna – it just kind of happened that way. We wanted to do some hill training, and the only really sizeable hill was right at the end – the hill on which Citerna was perched.
We got to the top, walked through the old historic town, and then found a restaurant with a great view out of the surrounding plains.
At the end of the meal I asked the waitress if she could call a cab to take us back to Sansepulco, but… we were told there were no cabs. Not in the town, nor in any of the nearby towns. Nor were there any buses heading back to Sansepulcro.
That left us only one option – we walk back.
After a fulsome lunch, the walk back was considerably slower than the walk there. But as the light dropped everything became more beautiful.
By the time we arrived back at our hotel we’d walked nearly 28kms.
A long day.
But today, because of all the surrounding beauty, and because of the gentle sunshine and the cooling breeze, I was reminded why I love walking so much…