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 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!
See you there!