Vía degli Dei 3: Pretty solo

Last night was a bit of joy. We stayed in a little hotel with a perfectly reasonable basic room but with a fabulous restaurant. We had an apero on the terrace and then a dinner guided by a waiter out of central casting filed under ‘charming, fun Italian waiter’. We had freshly made pasta and then escalopini for me and steak for Jennifer with local wines. Simple food well-made with local ingredients: Happiness.

This morning after breakfast I set out alone while Jennifer lingered over coffee waiting for a lift to the next town. Her foot is much better and we think the problem lies with her boots so after a day of rest she’s going to try walking in trainers and see what happens.

The walk today was only 10km but there was some serious hill climbing involved. The reward was some beautiful vistas of rolling, green Emilia-Romanga hills. The path was lined with flowers and buzzing with bees. As I walked I kept disturbing butterflies and little lizards. All quite lovely.

Which reminds me I forgot to mention the snake yesterday. We were walking along a wide bit of path when an enormous black snake dropped from an overhanging branch and thudded onto the path a few centimeters in front of my boot. It then proceeded to slither off to the other side of the path while I tried to get my heart rate back to normal by reminding myself I wasn’t in Australia and snakes here aren’t generally dangerous. Some after-the-fact research confirmed that it was a non-venomous whip snake, but also revealed there are venomous vipers about.

Back to today, after passing some windmills – top of the hill – and swaying fields of barley, I made my way into Madona del Fornelli where we are spending the night. The downside of a short walk is that we have quite a while to spend in what is a very tiny village with rain looming. So it’s now very much a day of rest and eating and hoping that the thunderstorms forecast for tomorrow don’t eventuate.

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