Ramblings from the Via Francigena…
I don’t ask for much when we’re on pilgrimage. Having our most basic needs met is really all we desire which means availability of decent toilet paper, food, and a soft bed. 😆 Unfortunately, that is asking too much at times. 😏 The biggest difference between the pilgrimage we are on and the traditional understanding of backpacking is the aforementioned luxuries.
Remember the toilet paper crisis of 2020? How could we forget! Toilet paper is still an important topic though, right? Let me tell you during the first week of this pilgrimage, we had outstanding toilet paper. Oh Switzerland, I don’t know what you do to make your toilet paper so grand but I would love to invest stock in it and bring it to the United States. I mean, it’s that good, friends. Since we have arrived in Italy the quality has diminished. I think you understand the challenge and I’m sure I have said enough on the topic.
You read about my challenges with finding food in an earlier blog, if you didn’t, click here. Lately, finding food has not been too much of a problem. We do need to review where we are walking each day to ensure there will be a stop for food. If there isn’t, we have to prepare for the long stretch without food by finding a market the night before. We start walking early in the morning to beat the heat. Unfortunately dinner isn’t typically served until at least 7 p.m. but I am grateful at this point for finding food at all. I’m sure there will be more on good in future blogs.
My last rambling today is about the importance of a good nights sleep. Let me say, as a backpacker, my lightweight backpacking inflatable mattress is often more comfortable than the beds we have slept in since entering Italy.
I wish I would have brought my inflatable mattress but I didn’t know it would be this much of a problem. I thought the snoring of other pilgrims would be my biggest issue. But, nope! Don’t get me wrong, I am not looking for the most luxurious feather bed. I would just prefer the bed be more comfortable than the ground. It is hard enough to walk this many miles day-after-day but when you add a bad nights sleep to the mix, it makes the walking even more challenging.
Last night was the first time in a week I had an outstanding night’s sleep. I wish I could take that bed with me. Today’s walk was easier because my low back and hips weren’t screaming at me.
Maybe I’m asking too much. Maybe I want to think about more than just my most basic human needs. I am a researcher of Maslow and I know I can’t self actualize if I am always worried about my basic needs. Maybe I should stop worrying and be thankful for a roof over my head and any toilet paper at all. Maybe I shouldn’t worry about self actualizing. Maybe I already have or maybe I should just stop rambling about all of it.
That’s all I have for you today. Be thankful for your bounty, your bed, of course, your toilet paper!
Stats walking from Santhià to Vercelli – 10 km plus a train for 16 km so we could enjoy an afternoon in Vercelli. We definitely should have planned a rest day here, what a great town! Check out our YouTube video too!
- Lodging at La Terrazza Vercelli Bed & Charme – €118 – outstanding bed and air conditioning on a very hot day. Paid too much but worth it for an outstanding nights sleep!
Stats walking from Vercelli to Robbio – 17.64 km. Check out our YouTube video here!
- Lodging for at Agriturismo Pescarolo/Casa del Pellegrino – €60 for a private room with a shared bathroom and back to the typical bed with no air conditioning.
*Listing our accommodation is not an endorsement. This is just a point of information for fellow pilgrims. See our reviews on Booking.com, the guidebooks, and fellow pilgrims for more details to make the decision best for you.