Follow us as we walk the Via Francigena

map credit ©️OutdoorTravel Thanks for the map!

That’s right.  Approx. 1000 kilometers.

This time it’s the Via Francigena (fran chee gena).

From ancient and medieval times it connected Canterbury to Rome. Today most pilgrims start in the Swiss Alps. Luckily, unlike our predecessors, none of us have to return home by foot.

Different from the famous Camino de Santiago where over 200,000 pilgrims annually walk the 500 miles from St. Jean Pied de Port in France to Santiago de Compostela in Spain the Via has only a combined 2,500 walkers, bikers and horse riders.

Bill and I walked the Camino de Santiago Frances in 2013 and in 2016 walked the Camino de Santiago Portuguese with Vino Verde Man, Chapmeister and Rockenstein . It was so utterly perfect that the five of us, on September 3, 2018, will step out the door of our hostel at the Great St. Bernard Pass in Switzerland and make our way to Rome.

The first two days have us descending 6,000′ in elevation. Hello knees…In the meantime, we walk to build up our strength. Unfortunately, the last couple of days have us walking at the local community center as our hometown has the most hazardous air in the USA caused by the horrific fires in California.

Curious about what’s in my pack??

If you didn’t read my ultimate packing guide from the last pilgrimage hop on over and check it out.

I made some adjustments – more than expected in the consummate search for perfection.

Here’s the list (new means different from last time):

  • New pack – the Osprey 24 liter Sirrus
  • The same Nike shorts which unfortunately have been discontinued.
  • New (update – North Face changed the material and the new ones are too thick)  North Face Everyday Pant
  • New North Face on the Go Skirt (forgoing the skort)
  • Target tank top
  • New Athleta Speedlight Tee
  • Same Lulu Lemon Swiftly Tech Short Sleeve
  • Smartwool – one each – Mid-Weight and Light-Weight long sleeve shirts
  • A crazy and stupid indulgence – hippie palazzo pants from Walmart – who said ya can’t be groovy on a pilgrimage?
  • New My Trail Co rain gear – jacket and pants. Jealous of Rockenstein and Vino Verde  when they stepped out in the torrential rain all duded out with their My Trails rain attire. They stayed dry when I soaked to the bone in my cheap $1.99 rain poncho.
  • New REI 650 Down Jacket
  • OMG – I get to wear new but the same  Altra Footwear Lone Peak 2.5 shoes!! YAY!! Shoes are the most important part of this whole list.  Altra is now on version 3.5 with 4.0 coming out any day now. They changed their design and frankly the changes do not work for me. Geared up to wear the Altra Timp Trail – actually hiking in them with a friend when I realized she was wearing my favorite 2.5’s. Where did you get those???? Rockenstein! The zero drop wasn’t her thing so she passed them on. Well, that generous friend who only wore them twice gifted them to me. Doing a happy dance every time I put them on. Thank you Boo!
  • Crocs backup shoe for the end of the day, showering, etc.
  • Tights, undies, bras, merino wool gloves, a neck buff, homemade pillowcase with velcro to stuff my down jacket in to make a pillow.
  • Travel size toiletries.
  • Sea to Summit Traveller silk sleeping sack to keep the cooties away.
  • PackTowl ultralite beach towel

All weighing in at 11 pounds. Of course, I’ll be wearing some of those clothes so my pack will be lighter.

You men might be wondering what’s in Bill’s pack.  Basic black and flip flops!

We’re super excited. Jump on board and walk with us. Tell your friends to sign up for our blog –  Instagram Story @paigeshawdotcom and Facebook @billandpaige.

See you there!

17 thoughts on “Follow us as we walk the Via Francigena

  1. Bonnie

    Cannot wait to join you on your adventures via your photos. Safe travels and of course, have fun! xoxo

  2. judy wickwire

    Paige & Bill
    Is that Darrel & Roxanne and Rich Harvey In the photo???
    Cheers and FUN Judy

  3. Astrid Grey

    I am in awe of you; what an extraordinary journey, physically and spiritually; thank you for allowing me to be there; Astrid

  4. Rick

    Have fun. I am sad that I backed out of the trip but will follow and be wishing you a good trip.

  5. Cousin Renee

    Ciao Cousins!
    Have a wonderful journey. Be safe, stay healthy and have fun!
    Please tell Roxanne that we called her at 0 dark thirty to sing her happy birthday today before they left but their phone was already shut off.
    We’re looking forward to seeing all of your photos and watching your steps!
    Love, Renee and Bobby too

    1. Bill and Paige

      Hi Renee and Bobby. We will pass on the message to Roxanne. Bill and I just arrived in Switzerland. Going to hang out a few days. We start the walk on Roxanne’s Birthday. Take care!

      1. flightmac

        Sing her a birthday song from pals in Sonoma !!
        Your pics are already amazing, Paige!
        Love your adventures, tiny homes and style:)
        Have a Fab Five adventure. We are with y’all in spirit
        Happy Birthday 🎉 to our Rocky!!

  6. Cousin Renee

    Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you!
    Happy birthday dear Roxanne, happy birthday to you!
    Thinking of you on your birthday!!! Love you!
    Enjoy your day!

  7. Carol

    Please share with Roxanne and Darrell the their dear friend Judy has gone home to the Lord on 9/11. She was home with family and dear friends. She was pain free, and went very peacefuly. The 22nd at 11 will be her celebration of life, at her home in her beautiful back yard, Decked out in purple of course.
    Wishing you all a wonderful experience!!

  8. Karen S Incopero

    Roxanne & Darrell, Been thinking of you. Roxanne, I will plan a “Memory of Judy Luncheon” when you get home. More news~ As of this October 22nd we will have a new RESA. She is also the RESA of California. A very special woman. Judy would have loved her! Love and Blessings to all of you on your wonderful journey. Karen & Billy

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