Day 44 – Saturday, September 14th – Santa Cristina e Bissone to Orio Litta – 17km
Having a room all to myself was nice. The bed was ok, but I pretty much had to stay right in the middle or I might have fallen out.
Even though it was a shorter day, I still wanted to try to get there before noon, and I didn’t know how my ankle would be today. I do think the taping is helping. But I’ll just have to wait and see.
Gavin and Jill were leaving at the same time, so we went to the cafe across the street for breakfast. I got two croissants, for 2 E, much better than 7.50 E.
I left before they did. I did start out rather slow, but after I got more used to the new walking style, I just naturally got a little faster. Still slower than normal. The walking is slightly different. Maybe I land on my heels more, which means some more heel pain. And then there’s the overcompensation from other body parts. I think something was pulling in my back.
I still have 30 walking days to go. I really hope things get better, because that’s a long time. So much of the Camino is mental, but if you’re feeling bad physically, that pretty much tanks your mental attitude.
I was having more trouble with my pack again today. Apparently just tying my coat isn’t working anymore. I have been eating more, but I need to figure out something better for padding.
It was a small town, so the walk out was short, and we went into a grassy field. From there it wasn’t long to the next town. I didn’t stop.
It was the familiar combination of roads to towns and gravel through fields. I didn’t take very many pictures today.
When I got to the town before Orio Litta, I caught up with the 4 I shared a room with in Pavia. Everyone is worried about my ankle. It seemed to do ok today, but it’s not really better, not really worse. I don’t know.
I got to Orio Litta right before noon. Marita has said it was a wonderful place and they really lived pilgrims, so I was really looking forward to it.
A lady greeted me at the ostello, but there was some kind of problem. I was able to understand they couldn’t take me, but I didn’t know why. I showed her the email I had gotten from Pierluigi, and she said something and walked off. I assumed they were looking for someone to speak English. She came back with Pierluigi. He had accepted the reservation in error. They were having a party and only had 4 beds available for pilgrims, and I was not one of the 4. My only option was to continue another 3k to Corte St. Andre. Pierluigi offered to drive me, and I actually accepted. Of course I want to walk the whole way, and I’ve turned down rides in the past, but I decided it’s ok to say yes sometimes. My ankle would have probably been fine, but it was also nice to not have to walk. It was more of a mental boost than a physical one.
We got to the “town” and he mentioned that only 8 people live here. I immediately worried about the availability of food, but we did pass a bar on the way in.
There was no one official at the ostello, but it was open, so I went in and picked out a bed. I decided finding food was more important than a shower, since I didn’t know how available that food was.
I went to the bar and it was feeding a lot more than 8 people. She started to say what the choices were, and I heard her say risotto, so I said, “si, risotto.” Other tables were getting risotto and ravioli. I think maybe it was a set menu and I messed things up a bit. I was hoping I wasn’t going to get only risotto. I ate all of my bread. Then a guy came to take my plate and asked if I wanted anything else, “carne?” Yes, I want carne. He brought some poultry and salad. I don’t know if it was chicken or not. It still had a few feathers in it. It was good. I felt a lot better after that. It was 13 E. Not too bad. I do wonder if I would have gotten ravioli, too, if I hadn’t said anything.
By the time I got back to the ostello the 4 had arrived, so I had to wait for a shower.
I dozed a little bit on my bed, but not much, because everyone was talking.
This thing with my pack could be a serious problem. I might be able to create more padding with my coat, but I’m not sure how easily. I got the idea to try using my flip flops, so I will try that tomorrow and see how it goes.
A new guy showed up. He said they were going to the bar to have a drink and invited me to come. I said I stay and rest, but that I would go to dinner.
He came back before dinner and said he had bad news. The restaurant was full and they wouldn’t feed the pilgrims. They would feed him, because he specifically asked when he stopped at lunch. I kicked myself, because I thought about asking if they were open for dinner, but I just assumed they would be, and I never thought they would be full. So of course I immediately thought about the possibility of NOT getting dinner, which I did not like at all. I was certainly glad I’d had lunch.
When I mentioned that I had been there for lunch, he responded in a way that made it sound like it was ok then if I didn’t eat dinner, which irritated me. I’m a pilgrim, I need to eat more than once a day, especially now!
Then he made some comment about me being on my phone instead of being outside and socializing with people, and telling me what I should be doing. I told him he was making a lot of assumptions. He doesn’t know anything about me! I’m sure he also doesn’t understand introverts at all. So he invited me to come sit down in the “garden” with him, and he had already pissed me off about 3 different ways, so I was really temped to say no, but I decided to try to be a better person and go sit with him.
During the course of our conversation, he said that I looked like I was about to cry, which wasn’t true, and pissed me off even more. He was the one making me mad! So I said, “why, because I’m not smiling?” I certainly didn’t like the idea of not eating. Then he offered me some bread and a can of sardines. Now, sardines are about the one thing I would not want to eat, especially by themselves. But I’d already had enough interaction with this guy that I knew if I said I didn’t want to eat sardines, then he would say I shouldn’t be choosy about what I eat, or whatever. So I said, “thank you, but I really don’t want to take your food,” and he said, “Don’t be such a drama queen.” And I’m sure you can guess that didn’t score any points, either.
He had already mentioned earlier than I could try to come to dinner with him and see if they would feed me as well. At this point I’m thinking, “I would rather starve than go eat dinner with this guy.” But once again, he offered for me to try to come with him, and I decided that I should really try to swallow my pride/offense and go along. If they didn’t feed me, I could at least buy some ice cream bars so I would have some calories at all, plus the crackers and nuts that I had in my bag.
We walked in and they said it was ok. I was going to eat after all, which served to lighten my mood considerably even before eating. Jean luc was already there, so it was the three of us for dinner and not just the two of us, which also helped things considerably.
We had family style spaghetti, then salami and cheese, and I had dessert while the men had an after dinner liquor.
The picture is with Jean Luc. The other guy said every time you have your picture taken it takes a particle of your soul.
I was quite a bit happier with food in my belly. My ankles got eaten by the mosquitoes, because we were sitting outside because the restaurant was “full”. Jean Luc is Swiss, and he’s a pretty regular poster on the facebook group.
There was a border collie, Bella, who kept bringing us various objects during dinner to get us to throw them for her. She obviously had to make up her own toys. I have no idea what the first object was. Some kind of battery candle, maybe? Then a bucket. She obviously had too much energy she was working off enough.
It actually turned out to be a nice evening, and I’m glad I got to eat real food and not just seethe all night long about how offended I was.