Friday, June 23, 2006

FRIDAY, JUNE 23:- DAY EIGHT - Pont St Martin to Settimo Vitonne

“Sitting at home and meditating on the divine presence
is not enough for our time. We [must] come to the end of a long journey and see that the stranger we meet there is no other than ourselves - which is the same as saying
we find Christ in him."
Thomas Merton

FRIDAY, JUNE 23: DAY NINE - Pont St Martin to Settimo Vitonne 20kms
Kathy: - aka Motoring Reporter (“guidare a passo d’uomo” – driving at walking pace!)

Really interesting to see the types of vehicles people use here! Every Italian home seems to have a Fiat of some kind. We have seen hundreds of Pandas of all kinds, shapes and sizes colours and ages, also Multiplas, Ulysses, Stilios. Lovely little Lancia Ypselons, Peugeots, and Suzukis. Our favourites however are the little three wheel scooter cum bakkie things that seem to zoot all over town. They are Italian made judging by the name and we would each like one to zoot around Westville, Bothas Hill, Kloof or Durban North. On a more serious note - walked from Pont St Martin this morining after a fanatastic breakfast at Fabio’s B&B. Have been really spoilt. Once again a hot humid day.

Rayna: Tonight we sleep at the L’Ospitalita el Castello. Opposite is a very old church that is a National Monument, the Pieve Di St Lorenzo e Bapttisterio D S Giovani. The murals on the walls date back to the 12th C. The shame is that the paintings are crumbling. There was a group of youths visiting the church who are here for 15 days touring and helping to repair the pedestrian route across the Alps.

Marion: Fab accommodation last night in the centre of town and a charming host. The only problem was the flies. This morning we found out why we had so many - two doors away there was a small herd of goats in the yard. The goats were cute to look at - the flies were not. Again we walked the whole day with mountains on either side of us. A very pleasant easy walk with lots to see, again it was very hot and humid. We had a long steep walk up to the castle but it was well worth the effort.

Sil: It was warm even at 6.30am when we all got up. Left Pont St Martin at ± 8.15am after a great breakfast and had an easy walk through little villages and vineyards mostly on side paths parallel to the main road. We are almost out of the Aosta Valley - Ivrea being the end of the Valley. Our B&B today was in a castle on a hilltop. There was a very steep climb to reach it – once again passing stations of the cross- this time sculptures in niches in the walls - but WOW, was it worth it! We rang the bell at a high, elaborately wrought iron gate and a bronzed young man, washing out a water trough (the upturned lid of an ancient sarcophagus) looked up, saw us and crossed himself before coming over to let us in. This was Moreno – son of Clementine and owners of the L’Ospitalita el Castelo B&B. We are in a renovated section of an old castle complex, the new B&B having been grafted onto the castle walls, the church, the pillars, the terraced vineyards right outside our windows.
After settling in we walked back down the steep cobbled path to the main road passing the 16 Stations of the Cross (knowing that it would be quite a climb going back up again) and got a bus into Ivrea. Walked along the river for a while and then a local directed us to an internet cafe where we were able to post two days on our blog. We were a little concerned about not being able to find our way back to the river and find the right bus stop to get our bus back to Settimo Vittone but once again a Blessing Moment - the bus stop for Settimo was right across the road from the Internet Cafe.
We have had many blessing moments! Even losing our box in Zurich was a blessing because we didn’t have to carry all that stuff to Vevey. Meeting the cyclist in Martigny (who had worked in JHB 20 years ago) and who put us on the right path was a blessing moment. And then coming upon a selection of walking sticks leaning against the wall of a closed and shuttered stone cottage with an honesty box for donations. Even having Bernd help Rayna carry our excess baggage when we walked down the mountain was a blessing. We seem to find just the right people to help us when we need them the most. I say thanks to Kathy who prays for us each day. We are crossing a country on foot without a guide or even proper way marks and need all the help we can get.

Val: Arrived at our accommodation - a castle on top of a hill - whilst we are not yet into Tuscany - one can't help but be reminded of the film "Under a Tuscan Sky". This place is too incredible for words (and we felt sorry for her when she was dumped by her man!) We have our song - It is James' Brown "I feel good" - we adapt it occasionally.

♫ We feel good
'cos Sil says we should
We feel Fine
When we are walking in Line ♫

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