This is a mix of the good, the bad, the ugly and the bloody awful.
Decided I would go 10km with my luggage as it was pouring, I mean bucketing down.
Mine host, henceforth all called MH, suggested I walk on the road as it would not be so muddy. Maybe not muddy but the edge of Italian roads do not drain away…sometimes I was walking in 6 cm plus of water…trucks were courteous and went around me. Spaniards just blast you with water.
Finally at a roundabout I must have looked pathetic as a man stopped and gave me a lift for 7km to a little town called Tremel. That was it, coffee with his mate and off.. Damn I was hoping to get all the way but still had about 15km to go. Ended up 19km but felt like a million. Quite pretty countryside, walked beside the mighty Po River. However did Patton get across?
Had been ignoring my bladder at my peril and it withheld it’s services for the next five hours to punish me… walk, whimper, walk… you get the picture. I threw a lot of antibiotics at it but it was not very co-operative. Should have left it at home.
Finally reached Pavia, came in on the wrong side, how can you come in on the river side if you cannot see the damn river!
Stopped at a gas station to make peace with my bladder, well tried, just whimpered a bit more.
Asked directions, and asked a suave young man paying his bill if he was going my way (town). No, he said. Damn, I thought! Then suddenly he said he would give me a lift!!!
Young lawyer in a beamer, I bet I smelt awful!!!
Anyway into the hotel, OK sort of, threw more drugs down had a nod…then decided to go and look at Pavia. It is a very historic city and has some lovely Romanesque and Gothic churches. You actually go in the front door not the side!
One if my heroes bones are here. Although St Augustine died in the fifth century in Sardinia, a church was built for his bits in eighth century Pavia. You could have a worse hero, he first articulated the separation between church and state.
So a really nice prowl around a lovely old centre. Two churches had masses on, only a handful at them… Well 6 pm on a Friday night is a bit of a daft time…
Then trotted off with my voucher to the allocated restaurant for dinner. I could smell the fish before I saw it, the salad was a plate if raddichio and you know how friendly that is…enough! After I gave a sleaze watching the chance to translate my question “what kind of fish is this”, answer “fish that swims in the water”… Honestly. I walked…
Stamped off around the road and paid for dinner number two.. Dinner number one was prepaid…
Not that great but wrong choice,mussels inland??? Up at midnight….served me right. Bit battered this am needless to say and mobile internet has gone on the blink so reliant on hotel wifi and passwords currently.
Supposed to catch number 24 bus this am…nobody knew where, what or how… Got a taxi to the start point.
Quite nice, no rice paddies. Well, a few, but not as boring as other crops. Architecture seems more substantial as well…also the sun was out…
Amazingly though, squat toilets in the two cafes I visited for drinks and wees. Actually saw another pilgrim; tall Frenchman with full pack saying a rosary as he went along…
Finally made the hotel, huge restaurant, rooms OK but suspect that in the restaurant there is an a la carte section and an others section… I fit there..
Another strange day tomorrow where I am dumped off somewhere..