A Boost With Friends

Day 41 – Tuesday, September 10 – Mortara to Garlasco –  20 km

Last night was not great, mostly due to snorers, but the cot was also uncomfortable. My feet would hit the bar and that wasn’t great. I woke up at 1 in quite a bit of pain. I took ibuprofen and tylenol again, and it did help enough that I went back to sleep before 3, but I woke up again at 4, still in pain, and I couldn’t take anything else. I did sleep again, but there really was a lot of snoring.

In the morning at the bathroom the Canadian lady asked me how I slept, and I said ok, because I really did, but I did wake up a lot because of the snoring. She did not sleep well.

The lady who runs this place was serious about having everyone gone by 7:30. She turned on the lights at 6:30. Breakfast was simple. I did get some hot chocolate. It was just bread and jam with no butter, and some cookies.

I got all packed up and was out the door just before 7:30. My ankle felt ok, so I thought it would probably be fine. I’ve never had lasting issues with it before, but I also never had those sharp pains before.

We get routed onto some very busy roads sometimes, and there is little to no shoulder to walk on.

We turned off the busy road onto a sandy/grassy farm track. I settled into a slightly slower pace than normal.

I got passed by an older couple from Holland that I think I’ve seen before but never got to talk to.

Then I got passed by Marita and Petra! They had stayed at a bed and breakfast, thinking the abbey was probably full, and they were right.

I talked to them for a little, bit, catching up, but they were walking faster than me today.

Today was overcast almost the whole day and it was lovely and cool. Quite a nice day for walking.

I really thought I was doing pretty well until about 6k in when my ankle really started hurting again. Not the super sharp pains like yesterday, but not good, either. It really makes me wonder what I should do.

I think I should take a rest day soon just to see if that helps. It makes me wonder, if I hadn’t doubled up so much recently, would I have had this problem or not? Was I pushing too much, or was it inevitable? I have no idea. I have had the tightness in my ankle before, maybe it was just a matter of time? 

I did take 20 mg of prednisone this morning just to see if it helped. I kept walking and after a while it stopped hurting so much. Was it the prednisone? Did it just stop hurting? Idk! 

I came to Tromello about 12-13k in I think? Something like that. I decided I was going to get some juice and sit for the first time on this Camino. The first bar I came to was really just a bar. She had some iced tea, but nothing like juice. As I was leaving, Marita and Petra came up. They had stopped earlier in a town and so had just caught back up. They were stopping, so I sat with them for a while while they had their coffee. I was wanting to sit for my ankle.

As we sat there, a man rode up on a bike and said he could get us some stamps, but we had to give him our credentials. I didn’t want to let mine go, but Petra said I should exercise some trust. He came back about 8 minutes later, or maybe longer. Long enough that I did start to wonder. We had stamps, plus a little certificate and a button from the church. It was very nice.

I felt better after the rest. I did stop in an open church on the way out of town.

I was behind Marita and Petra, but I was keeping up with them, and then I caught up when they stopped for a minute to check the map.

We walked the rest of the way into Garlasco together. I had been thinking about going a little further, but decided it would be nice to stay with them. They don’t book ahead usually, they just show up and find something, and it usually works.

Petra is celebrating her 60th day. She had walked from her home in Holland. We passed an amazing looking Gelato place on the way in, so she treated us to some celebratory gelato. I got  dark chocolate, cherry, and coconut. Amazing!

The night before I had tried to call two places but no one answered. I had also emailed them, but no response. One of the places I tried said they only had 3 beds, but if they never answer their phones or email, then no one can book them, right? We tried to go to the door but it said they were open from 10 to 12:30, and it was 1 pm.

We went to the church next door to see if we could find someone. As were were looking around, we saw an older man who looked like he kind of belonged there. We asked him about the ostello, and he asked if we had reservations, and we said no. He seemed doubtful, but he called the lady and said there were three pilgrims who wanted a room. Guess what? They were available! Because they don’t answer the phone or check email. I was amazed. And the best part is we are in town, so we can go back for more gelato. The other option was on outside of town, so would have been an annoying walk back in for food.

We got in at 1:30. I suggested we eat lunch before taking showers, since lunch might be over if we didn’t.

I had porcini risotto and it was INCREDIBLE, and a side of fries. So good.


I am happy with how today is going. I do have further to walk tomorrow, but I think it will be ok.

They went out and I stayed in to rest my ankle.

I was looking up things on the facebook group for Pavia, and I saw that some people took a train from there to Milan. It’s only 30 mins by train. It’s not a rest day, really, but how can I pass that up? I was looking at some things online and was able to find tickets for “The Last Supper” as part of a walking tour for Thursday, and you have to get those tickets in advance, so I was probably pretty lucky. I went ahead and booked it. I guess I’m going to Milan! I need to find out if I can stay two nights at the ostello, though.

We went back to the same place for dinner and I had some pasta, and we got fancy desserts that cost more than the food. They weren’t THAT good, but they were still good.


One Comment

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  1. That’s great buddy, I really wanted to see Milan but didn’t get a chance. Can’t wait to see and hear about your little detour 🙂


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