Day 76: San Quirico d'Orcia

Number of kilometres today: 27.4

Total kilometres walked from Canterbury: 1,804.0

Total steps since Canterbury:  2,508,737

Number of kilometres to Rome: 226

Today was my first full day walking with other pilgrims.  I was a little skeptical about how I would find it after more than two months walking by myself but it worked really well.  We walked in a group but as individuals with the freedom to walk our own way.  There was conversation and laughter.  There was silence and solitude.  Our walking rhythms seemed to match without too much compromise.  We stopped every hour for a five minute break and we arrived together into San Quirico d'Orcia.  

After settling into our very cold dorm room in the Collegiata dei San Quirico e Giuletta, we went to one of the local restaurants and shared a fiorentina, a signature dish of Tuscany, which is basically a big thick piece of porterhouse steak. There was wine and more conversation and laughter.  We are a motley crew but we are all pilgrims on our own journeys and this coming together somehow worked.  I am so glad that I have had the opportunity to experience part of this pilgrimage with others.

As a side note, I received an email from a Canadian couple, David and Diane, who have been reading my blog and also walking the Via Francigena.  They found my rogue sock.  The one I lost walking through the Appenines before Cassio and have kindly offered to reunite us. Whoever would have thought...

Clay mud trail...

On gravel towards Buonconvento...

Church in Buonconvento...

Old rusty things, Buonconvento...

Buonconvento...

View back down to Buonconvento...

Golden grapevines...

for miles and miles...

Montalcino on the hill in the background.

Val d'Orcia

Green and orange fields...

Lone house on the hill

Franco with the friendly puppy who wanted to come with us to San Quirico d'Orcia

San Quirico d'Orcia (forgotten the name of this guy...he was a famous Italian racing car driver.)

San Quirico d'Orcia

Waiting for the priest to come and let us into our accommodation.  Peter, Franco and Paulius

And of course a door I liked.