We spent last night in a pleasant but rather expensive B&B in Camaiore, a former farm house. The young man who dealt with us spoke good English and told us he supported AC Milan so we talked about football for awhile. We also talked about Formula 1 motor racing. These are two subjects which will engage any youth in Italy. His mother, Silvia, spoke very little English, just enough to wish us a nice day. She was up at 5am to make our breakfast. You won’t get that service in a hotel.
We hadn’t gone far when we met P&L, the father and daughter whom we first met on the pilgrim ferry across the River Po. L is studying architecture and as Paul always wanted to be an architect, he walked with her up front to learn about it. P and I discussed working, or rather not working. He has built a successful global business and finds it difficult to step away. But when he does take time off he is happiest walking on the Via Francigena.
We passed V, a young Australian man walking from Rome to Paris. He unfortunately had molten tar poured over his feet while leaving Rome and has suffered as a consequence. It was a combination of high temperatures and road walking rather than the hills and crocodiles he preferred. What advice could we offer for the vast distance ahead? Nothing came to mind.
We are staying two nights in Lucca because we are due a rest day and because there is much to see here. Churches of course. But also Roman remains and the city walls which are still intact. You can walk around the town on top of the walls, a distance of 4.4km which I may tackle tomorrow. There is also a botanical garden which tempts me.
We have an apartment from Airbnb inside the town walls. It has the big advantage of a Beko washing machine, what luxury! All my clothes are washed and hanging to dry on the backs of chairs in the dining room.
This evening we met P&L for a beer. It might be a farewell beer because they are moving on tomorrow. But you never know when you are walking on a pilgrimage.
Breakfast in our B&B this morning
We soon meet P&L again
A final Tuscan resting place
We approach the walls of Lucca
A farewell beer with P&L
Everyone eats outdoors