Hi everyone! It’s time for a first post of the 2018 trip.
My dad is hiking with me from the start. Despite both of us (but he more than I) being in bad physical shape, our hopes were high. The trip started in style. We flew KLM to Rome and due to a good frequent flyer status and knowing a pilot we started it off with some good food and drinks in the lounge and we were given two bottles of cava at 10,000 meters altitude! Late and drunk we landed in Rome.
The next day was one for exploring. With our huge backpacks (yes, despite my own warnings I did overpack. Fortunately, my dad can take all my unnecessary stuff back home to Holland), we strolled through Rome. We were a bit taken aback by the huge amount of people just crawling around the Colosseum and the Trevi fountain, but we later found our way getting lost in the little streets. That’s more our cup of tea. Another highlight was getting our credentials (a pilgrim’s passport) stamped inside the Vatican!
We then wanted to escape the and quickly made our way to La Storta, where we slept at an accommodation run by nuns. The day after (yesterday) was a semi-long day of around 23km, but all the hills and uneven terrain made it feel a lot longer than it was. Also the sun and temperature made it hard. The road was very enjoyable though. Very little walking on asphalt, most of the time we followed a meandering stream surrounded by fields of grass and poppies. Disaster struck 1,5km before our endpoint. My dad had already been complaining about feeling a knot in his left calf, and at that moment it sort of snapped. Bang! Hike over. Well, he managed to stumble the last 1,5km (which is quite long with a pulled muscle) uphill to safety. But things for the coming days look grim (concerning hiking, sitting in the sun and drinking wine is still possible).
Today I walked to Sutri alone. Sutri is a brilliant little old town situated up a hill. At the bottom, it turned out, is an old Roman amphitheater carved out of the rock. It was beautiful, and we were the only visitors there. Tomorrow we make our way further north, to Viterbo.
And on a side note: I am thrilled by all the positive reactions I’ve got so far. Also, I am amazed by how many people would like to hike with me. All of April and May are already fully booked. The only stretches left are 2 parts in the Alpes (the most beautiful part of the trip, I think!) of 4 and 5 days, and several short stretches of 2-3days along the rhine river in Germany. Also bear in mind that the jura crest trail (between Lausanne and Basel) has several open spots, since it would be nice to do that as a group. The whole schedule can be found under menu/schedule.