What a joy was the first hour or so walk out of Genoa this morning negotiating narrow streets some less than 2m wide and full of shops and life. What surprises me is how so many small businesses survive selling the same product or service, but they appear to do just that. It’s so fascinating just looking into the windows as I pass and observing what people are doing.

Then came the not so pleasant part of the walk, sometimes near the Autostrade, always beside a busy main road, past desperate looking buildings, and with the day’s temperature going up as the day unfolded.

Within this period was the highlight of my day when, by prearrangement at 11.15am, I telephoned my cancer support group which was having its meeting in Sydney. I was told who was there and where they were in the room and so I was able to visualise their faces, and hear their voices as we were on loudspeaker. We talked for about a half hour. I forgot to mention it to them but earlier I had stopped at a church and lit a candle for the group, as well as another candle for all those in the world who are presently suffering. When I set off again after our conversation I was
bursting with energy and didn’t stop for my one and only food break today, for some time.

I love to see the way old people just gather and chat. In about the middle of the afternoon I pulled into the town square at Voltri, a small town but one which had a feel of life about it. There were a number of bench seats. I took one of them for about 10 minutes. I was soon joined by a man. The other seats were occupied by men and women. Some only stayed a couple of minutes and then moved on. Some got a hand wave as they passed by. It seemed most were there shading from the 31
degree heat.

Another thing I’ve noticed is how well the older people get around over the ever present rough surfaced footpaths. Most of them don’t use walking sticks and a majority are women.

The last few kilometres of today’s walk was along a pathway well away from the road which hugged the ocean edge. In one section I was fascinated by a sound coming from the beach which was made up of pitch black colored stones, oval shaped, about 10cm in length. As the water was receding over the stones it made a loud crackling
sound. I’ve been intrigued by the various surfaces that make up the beaches. Yesterday I saw one made of small stones of a maroon colour, but mostly the beaches are light to dark grey with some surfaces sand like and the others the size of gravel. There were a lot of beachgoers out today. I wondered now it must feel to be lying on these rough surfaces, unlike any thing I know in Australia.

Yesterday I saw the ‘classic’ seat cover. It was on the driver’s seat. You will no doubt be familiar with the Penguin Classics series all done in the same style in orange, black and cream colours. The seat cover looked like a book cover. And the
title – ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’.

I’ve come to the conclusion that my body doesn’t like any more than 5-6 hours of walking- preferably 5 than 6. I see no reason to punish myself by attempting longer hours when I’ve no time restriction on finishing.

Tomorrow will be my last day on the coast before I turn inland towards Cuneo. I won’t see the ocean again until I reach the Bay of Biscay between Irun, in France and San Sebastian in Spain, and that’s some time away.

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