So far it’s been a gnarly little walk.
But through some of the most stunning countryside you can imagine.
My pictures in no way capture the grandeur and magnificence of some of these vistas. In my new book, Photo Camino, I talk about how hard it is to capture landscapes in photos that fully represent the feeling you have when you look at them.
My pictures of some of the scenery we’re walking through are testament to that failing. But what we’re seeing, and what we’re experiencing, is truly memorable.
As I said earlier, most of us are walking most of it. Some of us are walking all of it. But we all are being swept away with the beauty of it all – and with the spirit of St. Francis which is with us all the way; in the churches, the small shrines along the side of the track, and the history that permeates all the town and villages along this sacred route.
Here are the elevations of the past several days –
Sansepolcro to Citta di Castella –
Citta di Castella to Pietralunga –
Pietralunga to Gubbio –
And here’s what we’ve got coming up –
Gubbio to Valfabbrica –
Valfabbrica to Assisi –
The food along the way is typical Tuscan / Umbrian food – delicious. Lots of handmade pastas with wild boar ragu, grilled meats with rosemary and olive oil, sorbets like you’ve never had before.
We have only seen one other pilgrim so far on the track. And no-one who has come from La Verna. This is the classic St. Francis Way path – from his monastery to his home in Assisi. And it’s a good length too – just under 200kms, which given the terrain is enough.
Elena is proving to be a real sweetheart – we knew she would be, having worked with her in Tuscany last year for the PGS film. She is always smiling and laughing, and nothing is too much trouble.
She’s having to do some jump pick-ups each day with some of the walkers – and sometimes these tracks are tricky to get to in a nine-seater van, but she’s managed admirably.
Everyone seems to be having a great time. Each night we’re staying in beautiful towns, right in the historic centre, in good digs, and we’re eating amazing food. And we find ways to make ourselves laugh which are sometimes completely inappropriate.
I know when I’ve crossed the line when Jennifer frowns at me and says: Now Bill, you’ve gone too far this time…
I strive for that at least once a day.
It’s been great spending time with Peter, Ken, Angela, and Marie again – we had such fun on the Portuguese Camino, and now we’ve picked up where we left off with this one.
Here is Marie doing a yoga stretch –
Meeting Patty has been a total treat. She’s hilarious. She has such a wicked sense of humour. She fitted in immediately. And given that she said she didn’t have time to train before the tour, she’s been an amazing walker. She has got up some hills that had me gasping for air.
I can always pull out an excuse to stop – I take out my camera and pretend to take a photo. And then of course I have to check focus and exposure. And then of course I have to take another one because I’m not happy with the first one… that usually takes a couple of minutes, and by that time I’ve regained my breath, and my strength, and so I continue on, until I find the need to take another photo.
Having Ivan and Giovanna join us too for three days was a very special treat. We miss them now that they’re gone – again they slotted into the group energy immediately, and again, largely by making us laugh so much.
It’s been fun. And it’s not over yet. We have three more days of walking – then we arrive in Assisi in time for their springtime festivities. That should be wonderful.
With photo number two of Marie and her yoga stretch I can just hear Jennifer “Now Bill. you’ve gone too far this time…”
What a grand time you are all having, despite those hills!
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Actually Lynda that was a mistake. I thought that Marie was ok with me posting that shot, but when she saw it she asked me to delete it, which I did immediately. It was only up for about five minutes, and I apologise to Marie for that misunderstanding.
That aside, yes we are indeed having a grand time!
I must have seen it quick. Kind of reminded me of the spot in Portugal where Marie was wringing out her socks after passing a particularly puddlesome spot along the trail. Tell Marie that I love her. She is the coolest. 🙂
Look after yourself.