Tag Archives: Walking

Panama City, Panama

Believe it or not immigration in Panama did not ask about our flight out of Panama. Go figure.

The airline clerks in Lima were more about Panamanian Immigration than the Panamanians were.

It’s all smoke and mirrors!

The good thing about the whole ordeal was that we didn’t have to spend the night in the Panama Immigration Hotel.

The first day was the hop on hop off bus and Yup…. it was a national holiday – diá de bandera (flag day) and half of the bus stops were closed. One being access to the historic district – Casco Viejo and all the museums. Flag day in Panama is a big deal. We caught a glimpse from the bus and hundreds of thousands of people were out packed in like sardines celebrating. It was great fun to see.Lucky for us we got to watch a huge ship go through the Miraflores Locks at the Panama Canal. I was able to experience locks growing up on Saranac Lake in New York. It’s a tedious and meticulously planned operation. Train-like engines guide the ships through the canal keeping the boat in the middle. It was a bit like watching water boil but thrilling none the less.A malecón (seaside walkway) called Cinta Costera Park links the wildly growing modern urban center to Casco Viejo – Panama City’s spectacular old town and UNESCO World Heritage site.We baked ourselves in the sun walking from our hotel to the historic center on the Cinta Costera but enjoyed the seaside breeze in the evening on the way back. Skaters, walkers, joggers, dancers, vendors, kids and their parents, novias and amigos relished in the cooler night temperature.Casco Viejo is a mixture of crumbling abandoned buildings and new or newly refurbished ones – stately, ornate and adorned with Spanish inspired balconies. Fantastic restaurants, super cool hotels and fun bars.Oh yeah – the moon righted its self. Explain that to me please!We happened upon a runner, Jan-Casper Look, who just completed running from Vancouver, Canada to Panama City. Phase one of his journey. It took him a year. He runs pulling a cart behind himself averaging 30 miles per day. You can follow him on Instagram @jclloo21 where there’s also a link to his blog. And we thought walking a few Caminos was a big deal.

Strange and crazy. This Camino Pilgrimage symbol was on a building in Casco Viejo!

The Day After Finishing the Via Francigena

Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened. ~ Dr. Seuss

Today we went the office of the “Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi” in St. Peter’s Square for our Testimoniums (certificate for completing at least the last 100km of the Via). The pilgrims who started Canterbury get the same document.It’s just like the Camino de Santiago. Walking the last 100km (62 miles) gets you a Compostela.Chappy, Bill and I weighed ourselves. Bill was the winner at losing the most.Bill and I hoofed it to our new luxurious hotel where we will veg for the next three nights. Soft sheets, a bathtub and a huge TV with English channels. Not sure if we’ll get out of bed tomorrow. Chappy, Darrell and Roxanne stopped by to check out our new digs and we all walked to see the Trevi Fountain (along with 1,000,000 other people) to hug it out and say goodbye.Chappy is heading home tomorrow and Darrell and Roxanne are off to discover Italy by train.

Roxanne’s post and photos:

Completing our pilgrimage to Rome and receiving our Via Francigena Testamonium today means farewell to the Fab Five and hello to the positive memories we’ll share with each other back home in Nevada. Thanks Paige for sharing your blog with our loved ones! Luxury is clean cloths!Well done Pilgrims!

Day 39 the Final Day on the Via Francigena

La Storta to Rome – Sunday October 14th (Preston’s birthday – love you honey) – 13.3 miles in 7 hours 14 minutes.

The Fab Five made to Rome all in one piece and blister free.

What an experience! We’re so appreciative of our health, the ability to perform such a task and friendship.

Our walk today was…. well… you decide…. (photos are in order).Obstacles to climb over…95% was on pavement.We’re staying at the Vatican Garden Inn. Don’t stay here!

Roxanne’s post and photos:

The Fab Five have landed!
St. Peter’s Square, Rome.

Day 38 on the Via Francigena

Campagnano to La Storta – Saturday October 13th – 14.4 miles in 6 hours 45 minutes – climbing 1443 feet.

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own (and with friends). And you know what you know. And you are the one who decided where to go (Rome). Dr. Seuss

It feels so good knowing that the Fab Five will be walking into Rome tomorrow. We’re smelling the barn. I think we’d gallop if we had the energy!

Hotel Cassia is where we will rest our heads tonight. Twin beds in a private room. Clean.

It isn’t the mountain ahead that wears you out; it’s the grain of sand in your shoe. Robert W. Service

Roxanne’s post and photos:

Ladies and gentlemen, The Fab Five are now on final approach into Rome. Walked from Campagnano di Roma to La Storta. This last stage before Rome took us through pastureland, shady woodlands, 6th century BC Etruscan burial sites, a waterfall and an ancient water mill. Gluten free eating is easy in Italy!
There’s an APP called AIC (Italian Celiac Association) that shows where Gluten free meals and products are sold and those options are everywhere in Italy even in tiny villages.

Day 37 on the Via Francigena

Sutri to Campagnano – Friday October 12th – 13.1 miles in 6:10 climbing 897 feet. Shorter is not always better. To save 3.5 miles we walked along loud busy roads. My umbrella warded off evil cars until we safely made it to a quite path that lead us into town.We’re staying at  Hotel Ristorante Benigni.

Two more days until Rome.

Seven more days until we meet the new love in our lives – Graciella Faye.

Roxanne’s post and photos:

Leaving our Sutri apartment.Roman Amphitheater from 
1st-2nd century BC. Which way?After walking to Campagnano di Roma, we sat down to a fine late lunch and reunited with our fellow pilgrim from Denmark. 

Day 36 on the Via Francigena

Vertalla to Sutri – Thursday October 11th – 16.8 miles in 8:40 and we climbed 1375 feetHard to believe that a day that starts with a rainbow turns out to be nuts literally and figuratively.If we weren’t walking through a slippery, muddy rain forest with lots of obstacles we were walking thru miles of nut trees.Bill twisted a muscle in his back so we hired Bags-Free to transport his pack from hotel to hotel. Chappy quickly decided that was a great idea and signed up too. I have to admit I loaded Bill’s pack with my clothes so that I could carry a lighter load.There were spills and thrills today – not all for the faint of heart.

Darrell – Don’t drink the water here or you’ll get Giardino.

We’re staying at B&B Caseta di Vicolo Corto. The beds are so comfy and the place is beautiful. We actually have our own apartment and it’s new, clean and fabulous.

Roxanne’s post and photos:

Walked from Viterbo to Sutri.Snack at the base of a Roman tomb near Capranica.

Day 35 on the Via Francigena

Viterbo to Vertalla – Wednesday October 10th – 11.2 miles in 6 hours only climbing 874 feet.Fun day walking through an Etruscan Via Cava which I’ll translate as a road with tall lava walls.Followed by lush farm land – a Clydesdale horse and super friendly donkey – nut trees and olive production.We’re staying at Alberto da Benedetta. We’re happy to announce that we’ve ditched Ostellos (hostels). We’ve opted for more restful sleep.

Four more days to Rome!

Roxanne’s post and photos:

Humane Italy ♥️Walked from Viterbo to Vetralla.Gear off.Fellow German flip flop pilgrim.BreakfastOlive harvest comb.Picnic lunch.