Number of kilometres today: 23.8
Total kilometres walked from Canterbury: 1,411.9
Total steps since Canterbury: 1,993,799
I delayed walking today. Stopping in at two different cafes to have a coffee. The first time sitting down with breakfast. The second time standing up because I didn't want to go through the whole process of taking The Devil off my back and putting it back on again.
I slept soundly last night but as I left town, the tiredness overcame me. And I cried. I trust my tears. If you fall into that river and let its torrents sweep you away you will end up in the sweetest place, that paradise that is your own internal peace that you couldn't see when you were standing dry and miserable on the muddy bank. I cried and walked and ten minutes later I was all cried out and peacefully accepting of where I was AND surrounded by blue skies...the first blue sky in a week.
I practiced walking Thich Nhat Hanh style; walking in a way that prints peace and serenity on the earth. I put on my favourite new age tunes most of which use a lot of mantras and walked conscious of how my feet touched the ground and conscious of the tendency to walk faster, to get there, to arrive. I pulled it pack and slowed it down. It took me 6.5 hours to walk the 23 .8 kilometres which is slow by my normal standards. And I arrived tired but peaceful.
I stayed at the Convento di San Francesco in my own little room with a single bed. I was the only person staying there other than the monks who inhabit other parts of the Convento. I almost wasn't able to stay as the local kids were having a party in the hall downstairs from the sleeping quarters. But the brother that greeted me knew I was tired and not wanting to walk any further. I told them I didn't care about the noise. I didn't. I just wanted to get The Devil off my back, have a shower and get off my feet. Luckily they let me stay.
Piazza of Chiesa di San Fiorenzo in Fiorenzuola d'Arda.
The first blue sky I have seen in a week.
Golden tree lined street leading into Chiarvalle della Colomba
Statue in Chiarvalle della Colomba
A friendly dog...she dropped at my feet and wanted me to pat her.
Autumn autumn eveywhere!
My favourite kind of ploughed field again
Duomo di Fidenza
The main piazza in Fidenza. Such a good vibe here at night.
Chiesa di San Francesco next to the Convento.