September 14

Run across dual carriageway. Guidebook sends me into an industrial estate. Spend two hours alone in an empty hostel. Arrive in Campagnano by lunch time.

Leave Sutri around 7.15 and it’s a beautiful day. Stop by the amphitheatre made from a quarried mound of tufa. It’s more sculpted than constructed. The walk along the road at this point is fine. There’s a gravel track which runs for 3kms and ends at an odd complex of golf venues. It is, apparently, the Italian national golf centre.

The track becomes asphalt before entering the town of Monterosi. Where it’s time for a second breakfast! V&G arrive just before I leave;  I try to explain the inappropriateness of the cafe’s name, gorgeous. The funny part, is that the aged waiters with gorgeous written across their shirts do so with no sense of irony! I tried to explain this to the owner but he just shrugged!

Forget to take an early crossing over the Cassia and end up on the wrong side of a dual carriageway.  Decide it’s better, overall, to clamber over the barriers and run across four lanes. Quite a feat of reflexes and coordination but in reality an exercise in lunacy! Must have been quite a sight! Walk along a protected lane, where the protection soon fizzles out but it still feels safe. Cross a bridge and follow the slip road onto the southbound Cassia and the trucks are mightily close and very fast. Guidebook says there’s a footpath in 400mts. Find something but it fizzles out and comes to a halt with a 3mts drop into a recycling centre. Drop bags and slowly lower myself down. I’m in the middle of an industrial estate and the only way out is the fast flowing SS2. Take a glimpse and the hard shoulder is narrow and the speeding trucks large. Ask advice from a young woman parked on the slip road  who gives me a ride to the next exit about 500mts away. Cross over and head south on the opposite slip road and come out where I should have been. It is lunacy to suggest to readers to walk along the dual carriageway. I’ll be having words with Ms Raju when, and if, I get home.

It’s a long 6kms into Campagnano. The VF path takes an indirect route, as always. Find a pleasant fountain in the middle of nowhere and eat an early lunch. Yesterday’s foccacia, some nuts and an orange. Decide to air my damp clothes in the bright sunshine. A gust of wind leaves my T shirt in the dirt and my pants in the water.  Rude Laurenzi has a field day ranting, peppered with loud expletives.

The walk into town and getting to then hostel seems to take forever. Get to the hostel at 12.40 it’s open but no one there. Find the office but it too is empty. Decide to do some personal admin but get cold sitting on the marble stairs. Find a bed and get sorted. Leave a note saying where I am. Have hot shower and about to wash clothes when V&G say there’s a spare bed in their B&B style hostel, pack my stuff once more, remove note, and cross town into the old borgo. I was two hours in a building which the management were unaware of!

There are now five of us staying  in a former chicken coop, including an elderly Sardinian couple. It’s cosy to say the least. They decide to eat out and I offer to cook pasta, fusili all’arabiata to be precise. Go for a quick tour and food shop. The nice Sards buy us three large bottles of what is currently my favourite Italian beer, Ichnusa, from the Greek Hyknusa, their name for Sardinia.

Whilst the sauce is cooking, we talk about loss and adjustment; and, of course, the nature of God. Interesting insights all round.

The Sard couple return and we chat for a bit before everyone heads to bed, leaving me a quiet moment to write this short post. Two days walking left and around 40kms to go. Its hard to believe that in 48 hours I’ll be sitting in a Roman bar wondering what all the fuss was about!

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