the idea of camping for the week was for me to acclimatise to this heat and do a little local walking but spent most of the week partying with my fellow campers drawn from all over the world,its not that I drink too much,I'm just a social drinker that happens to be very social.
the walk through Italy was a very solitary walk,only one other person met walking the same way Boris from Belgium who was joined for one week by his friend Bert later on the way,any other Pilgrims where walking to Rome, apart from sweet Sabina from Germany who brightened up my stay in Siena while making her way to Jerusalem.My most used Italian word at this time was "contrario" which I used to tell people I was going backwards from Rome which they found very strange.
wandering round one town looking for the Parochial two priests drew up in a car (they had been looking for me) phoned the hospitilaro who rode into town on his bike opened up the spotless accommodation and then told me breakfast could be had free in a local bar as well as a cheap menu in the same bar that night
this hospitality was mirrowed in many small villages who truly took great pride in housing the Pilgrim-I was mostly on own in these places but never felt lonely.
one such was Francois,whom I met while taking a break at the side of a small dirt road
and not for the first time wondering why I kept punishing myself pushing out these solitary km's
in this blazing heat.
having noticed the shell on my back Francois stopped his car started to tell me of his own Camino
and asked if I fancied a break just 1km down the road where he was slowly building his own house
he was a trusting soul so I excepted
his nearly finished house was right on the Camino (the reason for buying the land) and was the third one this oil company worker had built, he showed me his onsite English caravan placed a drink in my hand
and raced off to his main house to fetch his Camino photo book.
the next hour was spent pouring over the book,sharing experiances and more drink, he'd had to split his own Camino the CF due to a very bad reaction to bed bugs (the photographs took up 2 pages)
Francois is a good man and an example of the bond that all who walk the Camino share