I awoke to a beautiful sunny morning. The first temperature I saw was 19 degrees. Very pleasant for walking. The next I saw much later in the day was 29 degrees. I didn’t believe it. It didn’t feel right.

Before I left the hotel I had a conversations with one of the managers about what I was doing in Italy. I have had this type of conversation numerous times and it never ceases to amaze me how everyone knows about Santiago de Compostela. Also, when they find out I am on foot they can be most effusive with their compliments. The last two mornings my story has become the topic of conversation at the breakfast bar. On my way out of the hotel the middle aged woman who served breakfast, and who
doubles as a room cleaner, came up to me, shook my hand and wished me a good journey. I love moments like these when I realise what I am doing has touched someone else.

Today on the road a man in his car started tooting the horn of his car. As he drove by he was looking in my direction, smiling, and madly waving. It was like he knew me. I returned his smile and wave. Moments like this bring me joy and warm my heart.

I was surprised how just a short distance from Chiusa di Pesio it opened up into flat farming land. Such a contrast with yesterday. It was like two worlds. I imagined the road into France to be a continuous climb through mountainous country. This has not been the case.

I had my first break around midday at Boves in a park next to a cemetery. If building monuments is evidence of respect for the dead, then Italians are very respectful. I’ve witnessed the same respect by the Spanish. I’ve seen reminders of
this respect along the way by the roadside, where people, obviously killed in motor vehicle accidents, have had monuments erected in their memory. These aren’t your white cross with a few flowers. They are usually made of marble with an inlaid inscription and photograph of the deceased. I usually take a look at them. Regrettably, too many I’ve seen are for young men. Things aren’t so different in Italy to what they are in Australia.

I had an interesting experience yesterday on my way into Chiusa di Pesio. On my left was a small valley with steep inclines to both sides. On my right was a house
with a barking dog. Now I know I’ve gone on a bit about barking dogs, but this was different. It was a big dog and did those timed barks. You know the ones where they give it all they’ve got, pause, and then go again. In between one bark and the next I was hearing the echo of the first bark in the valley.

Tonight I’m not where I thought I’d be. There was only one hotel in Borgo San Dalmazzo, my original destination, but when I arrived the ‘For Sale’ notice on the dust covered door and the yellowing envelopes in the letterbox suggested it had not been a hotel for some time. But as good fortune would have it just 2.5km down the
road in the direction I have to walk tomorrow, I found a great hotel with a splendid restaurant where I’ve just eaten a delicious meal (in keeping with vegan principles).

I’ve shopped and am geared up for a 25km trip tomorrow. My plans just change from day to day. Nothing is set in concrete on a trip like this. I’m enjoying my attitude towards flexibility and adaptability.
Obviously, more than a few listeners shared green day’s anger