Day 43 – Friday, September 13th – Pavia to Santa Cristina e Bissone – 30 km
I did sleep much better last night. There was still a lot of snoring, but I slept so much better than the night before. The bed did not telegraph as much as the other one.
I was awake at 5:30, and I could have gotten started then, but I waited until 6:30. I was hoping I might sleep more, but I didn’t.
I made sure my bag was as packed as it could be the night before. I took everything out into the common room to finish getting ready. I ate my peach and two bananas. It was a good breakfast.
I was out the door by 7:01. It was a lovely morning!
I tried to walk carefully. I started out at a slower pace, but I think I just naturally got faster as I went. I didn’t do anything that hurt.
It was actually a pretty long walk to get out of Pavia; lots of road walking.
I was able to stop into a few churches.
Then when I did get out of Pavia, it was walking on a busy road between towns with no shoulder.
Today was definitely different from other days before.
It was pretty hot already by 10 am, and I made myself put on some sunscreen. I hate wearing it, but I know I should. I spent the 16 E on a new tube, so I might as well use it!!
I took a small rest at a brand new picnic table in a small town. While I was there, I went ahead and emailed the ostello for tomorrow. I knew there was a good chance it wouldn’t work, but I wanted to give it time to work in case it did. 15 minutes later I had a response!
I also looked ahead to Piacenza and booked a hotel for two nights so I can finally have a real rest day for my ankle. It’s more than I wanted to spend, but it’s worth knowing it will be a real rest.
It’s amazing how much having those bookings improved my mood. Today was definitely better mentally and emotionally than the past few have been. I am really looking forward to that rest day.
I got to Belgioioso, which was the only other option for stopping today. It was about 17k from Pavia. I felt like I was doing ok, so I decided to continue to Santa Cristina. Of course, my ankle started hurting more about 3k later. But then it got better again. I really don’t know.
The Via went around a gravel mine. I’m sure there are some people who have tried to cut through, but there were signs everywhere saying it was forbidden.
On the other side, I really wanted to take a rest for a bit. I found a place that was shaded, and even had something to sit on, but it wasn’t long before mosquitoes started finding me. Not a good place for a rest. I decided to pee first before putting my pack back on, so I went back into the woods a bit more, and that was a mistake!! I could see 20-30 mosquitoes, and I really hope they didn’t bite my butt.
I hurried on my way. It was hot. But I was feeling pretty good.
I got into Santa Cristina right at 2 pm. I finally found the parrochia, which shouldn’t have been hard to find, I was just looking behind the church instead of next to it. It said they started welcoming pilgrims at 2:30, so I went to the pizzeria to see if they were still serving. Yes! Until 2:30, what luck.
I had an onion pizza and it was absolutely delicious. Really good.
I finished right at 2:30 and went to see if they would take me in. I had no reservation. I pressed the buzzer and when someone answered, I said, “pellegrina,” but I really couldn’t understand anything he said. I kept saying, “no Italiano,” and he finally buzzed me in and opened the door. He wanted to know if I had called, but I said no, I tried to email. He said, “email? No.” Lol. Yeah, I know you don’t check your email! But he let me in anyway! So far I am by myself.
I was getting situated in my room, when he came up with a couple of ladies for another room. I suddenly realized I was going to lose my shot at a shower. I tried to get everything together but I was too late. They let me take the second one.
I actually spent most of the afternoon trying to coordinate with my boss for him hiring a high school student. He wanted me to hire someone before I left, and someone actually applied the day I got on the airplane. He still hasn’t given the poor kid an interview. Now it looks like it will have to wait until after I get back, if the guy is even still interested by then!
Gavin and Jill showed up, so I went to say hi and catch up. We had dinner together at the pizza place. I had the “Steve” pizza, which had bacon and French fries on it. I also had ice cream for dessert. I’m definitely eating more lately!
I still have the room to myself, so theoretically I should sleep well tonight. The bed is a cot and the mattress is kind of lumpy, but I’m really looking forward to the next few days.
Oh! So I told Gavin about my ankle, and he said it sounds to him like shin splints that he had. A girl showed him how to tape his foot and it was completely healed in three days. So he taped my foot for me and we’ll see how that goes! That would be awesome if it works!