Day 19 on the Via Francigena

Lucca to Altopascio – 11 miles in 6 hours – Monday September 24thOur time in Lucca was fun. We actually had two days off from the Via.

Today started with a lovely cloudy morning that turned into hot sun and no shade by 11:00 am.It was a mixed bag – residential, farm land, industrial and commercial areas – lots of olive trees.We met a new pilgrim from the USA. It was her first day on the trail, she’s ultimately walking to Sienna and looked like we did on our first day. Clean, fresh and eager!

As Bill and I walked today we talked about time off vs walking daily. This break was necessary as a couple members of the Fab Five had body parts that needed resting. The respite was wonderful but today I found my pack feeling heavy and my joints needing some oil. By hour five I was longing for a train heading towards the Amalfi Coast.

I think our bodies and mind get in a groove with a daily grind. The break feels relaxing and freeing but is there a price? Bill posed the question to all of us a few days ago. How many days off in a row before you chuck the whole thing and travel? One day is necessary but what happens if you take 2, 3 or 5?

HA! You wouldn’t believe the stuff we can think about out there on the trail. Talk about monkey mind!

The weather channel says the temperature should drop by 13 degrees tomorrow. Yay!!! Currently it’s 85 and feels like 88 (according to the app). It will be interesting to see what this does to our energy level.We entered the province of Florence and are sleeping at the Albergo Paola. It’s a one star that’s better than some three stars we’ve stayed in and here why (click on the word why).

* Hey thanks everyone for all the comments and emails. It’s great hearing from you.

Roxanne’s post and photos:

Four wheelsFrom Lucca walked to AltopascioThree wheelsThis bell tower is in Altopascio. The bell is called “Smarrita” the bell of the lost that rang at dusk to help pilgrims lost in the fog and the woods.

11 thoughts on “Day 19 on the Via Francigena

  1. Kim Chapman

    Beautiful once again. Loved the pic for hanging out clothes… I can smell the fresh air clean clothes in my mind… Loads of wonderful looking squash along with a few cute feathered friends… 🙂 I am sure your bodies are felling it greatly as one may expect… I can see Bill’s point because the mind can be so powerful that it will just go to lets travel instead of walk LOL You have to be so focused and routined I would think on this long of a walk. Each day brings something exciting and new so hopefully that over powers the aches and hurts… 🙁
    I know you all will keep on Trekking and look forward to keeping up with you… at my DESK mind you LOL hahaha

    1. Bill and Paige

      Ha! The mind is a powerful thing! Dang. Today was a great day so we’re back on track. I never want to sound negative but I thought it would be good to let ya’ll know the junk that goes through my mind while walking. We have some big long days ahead.

      1. Kim Chapman

        Yes you do have lots of time to think while you are walking miles and miles. Sometimes it can clear the mind and also make you think more than you would otherwise… Love hearing how your head thinks 🙂

  2. Bob Youssi

    Interesting thoughts about taking the day off. I’ve done some long distance cycling and like to watch the 3 weeks of the Tour de France. Over the course of the race they get 2 rest days and what do they do? They ride their bikes. Not as hard as on a race day but they do put in some miles. Bill’s thoughts about walking vs. touring are also interesting. I’ve wondered how you can walk past all these cool places and not stop to soak up the local atmosphere or vector off to some nearby attractions. I imagine a few days on the beach at the Amalfi coast would definitely come to mind on a hot humid day! Glad to hear some sore muscles and joints are feeling better.

  3. Bonnie Rose

    Hola Roxanne! Thank you for letting me ‘walk with you” in Italy. Wonderful, wonderful pictures you and Paige are taking–I really do feel like I am there in some way. Take care of those muscles, but keep walking!
    Hasta luego,

  4. adrianmetcalf

    Good to see are back on track. The journey is hard but the most important thing is to remember why you are there and keep going. Try to enjoy. I assume by moving on you have created more time to rest and see what is around you as you walk. We walked from GT St Bernard to Ivrea in August and blew up as you put it. We are going out to Pavia in April to complete. Really enjoying your journey even if there are days when you question.

    1. Bill and Paige

      Thank you! We’ll keep moving. Thought it would be fun to let people know what cycles through my head while I’m walking. Good luck to you in April. It should be a beautiful time of the year.

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