Day 31 – the sounds of silence

I was so tired last night that I fell asleep straight after posting my blog. Paul and I had our own rooms in the psychiatric hospital and mine was next door to the baker. His alarm sounded at 03.50, the same ringtone as mine and at first I thought it was time to get up. It rang continuously for 40 minutes before I noticed his light come on through the adjoining door.

Sure enough, the bread was not ready at 7.00 for breakfast and when it finally arrived it was too hot to handle. At least we had a decent cafe au lait.

Today’s walk was too tedious to mention. We continued our walk along the straight Roman road. The sun was baking us, there was no shade, the road barely twitched so the only excitement was approaching a distant hill. 39km without a cafe, bar or shop. Or anything except a church where we ate a jam sandwich left over from breakfast and refilled our water bottles from the tap outside, intended for grave flowers.

Tonight we are staying at the empty Hotel des Voyageurs in Brienne Le Chateau. We have a lovely room with the toilet conveniently located right outside our door. Our plat du jour was chicken curry, by the way.

Last night’s accommodation in the psychiatric hospital

In case we had forgotten, this is the way to Rome

Our lunch stop

11 comments on “Day 31 – the sounds of silence

  1. Huguette

    Hi Tim
    Today we took lunch with the bishop ( retired ) of Chalon en Champagne. We spook about you and your Pilgrims.
    He was very interesting about your story.
    And he loves cats🐱

    • Hi Huguette that’s nice. I could use an extra blessing from a retired bishop at this point.

  2. I guess one consolation is that your room wasn’t next to someone screaming all night. Very interesting accommodations, I must say. This part of the journey looks a bit like the Meseta! At least when we did the Meseta 2 years ago it wasn’t blistering hot. Not sure if I could have survived that — especially with no place to stop for shade, hydration or nutrition — not to mention the distance you guys are walking. I’m tired just reading about it! 🙂 Well, soldier on pilgrims!

    • Hi DJ, I hope your blister has gone, like mine have. I enjoyed the Meseta. These different landscapes speak to us in different ways. This Via Francigena is meeting my expectations which were on the low side. I set off more in hope but we are truly wandering in the wilderness. I hope things improve in Italy. Give me the Camino any day. Tx

      • I enjoyed the Meseta as well. Just wouldn’t have wanted to do it in the heat. I’m surprised by the people who skip it. To me that’s like saying I will only enjoy those parts of my life that are pretty, scenic, exciting. Good thing you have Paul for company. And I hope you aren’t wandering in the wilderness! This is going to be a long enough trek as it is — 40 years, nope, that would be excessive. In my mind, you are heading to the promised land though. Rome is my favorite city in the world.

      • Absolutely agree with you, DJ. On a walk you have to take it all. The bad bits get you down and the good bits bring you back. I’d give up rather than skip a stage. I haven’t even thought about Rome yet!

  3. On the straight and narrow, 😁😁

  4. Roger Clarkson

    How is your magic umbrella working out, does it charge your phone as you travel?

    • If only … I like it. It gives me a lot of protection from the sun but it also attracts flies. And they bite and sting. Probably worth it overall

  5. Hi Tim, I sleep tonight in the Hotel des Voyageurs in Brienne-le-Chateau. Last night I had quite a funny place in the former class-room of Corbeil. The souper was brougth to in a basket by the husband of the Marie. Convenience-Food for the microwave. Not that bad as it sounds. There was even a small bottle of red wine in the basket! Tomorrow I will have a restday in Brienne-le-Château.

    • Hi Ruedi, good idea. I can recommend the orange juice in Casino. I hope to see you further on

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