Number of kilometres today: 12.6
Total kilometres walked from Canterbury: 1,587.6
Total steps since Canterbury: 2,202,098
Number of kilometres to Rome: 446
It started raining just as I left my hotel this morning but only lightly. Not enough to dampen my spirits. Although I wasn't keen to wear the Kermit walking along the beach road into Forte dei Marmi and draw even more attention to myself, it couldn't be avoided.
The warm wind and the sound of the waves rolling into shore were soothing. My walking meditative. Then after an hour my feet started to hurt. So I put in my headphones and turned on the 'When the going gets tough' mix. I thought of all my friends and family back home as well as all the people I have never met who are supporting me on this journey. I sang. And I dance walked. People stare at me anyway so they may as well see a crazy pilgrim singing and dancing in the rain enjoying the journey.
But after a while, not even the dance walking could keep my spirits up. Rain. Throbbing feet. Tiredness. I was engulfed.
It started raining heavily when I arrived in Pietrasanta. I huddled under the umbrellas of a bar in the Piazza di Duomo as I ate my panino with proscuitto crudo, tomato and stracchino and indulged in a glass of red wine. The wine warmed me and fluttered the tension away. With nowhere to be, I sat and watched the locals walk through the piazza on their way to lunch and the Africans stand in the rain with their 5 euro umbrellas to sell.
Pietrasanta is a very cute, small town. Like many places, during the lunch break everything is closed and there's not much to do. I wandered its few quaint streets before heading to the Coop supermercato to top up on supplies for tomorrow's long walk to Lucca. Then I called my friend's mum who came and picked me up so I didn't have to walk farther in the rain.
I have spent the afternoon wrapped in blankets on the couch watching TV whilst drinking tea and eating biscuits. She has shown me her photos from her 300km walk on the Via Francigena from Monteriggioni to Rome last year as well as her certificates. It has kindled my excitement which I hope I can tap into tomorrow should the going get tough. 32 kms. Hills. Rain forecast.
I am only 446 kilometres from Rome and I have reached 86% of my fundraising target. And I don't have to go hunting for my dinner tonight (or go without).
I haven't plugged my fundraising much on my blog but I am now. I'd really really love to reach 100% of my goal. I'm only $277 dollars away from doing that. If anyone can forego a latte or a lunch and donate the funds to my turtle cause I would be so very grateful and motivated to keep dance walking on my pilgrimage path. You can read all about why I have chosen to fundraiser for turtles on my mycause page and donate by clicking in the link. Just paste the following into your browser.
Beach at Forte dei Marmi
Heading inland to Pietrasanta