Day 81: Vetralla

Number of kilometres today: 18.0

Total kilometres walked from Canterbury: 1,941.7

Total steps since Canterbury:  2,703,857

Number of kilometres to Rome: 85

I was over optimistic about my clothes drying overnight in such a cold room.  I should have known better. Today I was a walking clothesline with pants, t-shirt, longsleeve top, socks, undies and a towel hanging off The Devil to dry as I walked.

All these days of walking have caught up with me.  Despite eating and sleeping plenty, my tank is empty. I thought after yesterdays short walk to Viterbo and sleeping and resting in the afternoon that I would be firing on all cylinders today and able to walk effortlessly the 30 odd kilometres to Sutri.  But I couldn't.  We arrived in Vetralla by 12.15pm and found a trattoria for lunch.  We discussed accommodation options in Capranica, only 16 kilometres down the road.  I started feeling upset.  The guys were able to keep walking but all I felt like doing was sleeping.  Fortunately they could see my reluctance and suggested that we stay in Vetralla for the rest of the day and night.  We walked two kilometres out of town to the Monastero delle Benedettine Regina Pacis.  We rang the door bell and a nun stuck her head out the window, saw that we were pelligrini, came downstairs, opened the door and ushered us straight in.

I have slept for an hour and a half like yesterday but in a bed with a duvet and sheets rather than in my sleeping bag.  A nun brought a heater to my room.  It is warm and cozy. My still damp clothes are starting to dry. I feel comforted and am hoping that this rest is enough to get me through a longer walking day tomorrow.

I have had to give into the tiredness.  I have used the time to rest and not look around the towns that we have stayed in.  I didn't see much of Viterbo or Vetralla, only walking in and out of town.

We meandered our way out of Viterbo this morning and spent some time in the Piazza San Lorenzo, Cattedrale di San Lorenzo and the Palazzo dei Papi.  We walked out of town along a quiet country road that was cut deep into rocks.  Eventually we found our way onto some wet and muddy tracks.  There was a lot of rain yesterday afternoon and last night. There were some sections of path that were flooded and we had to carefully tip-toe around the edges.  On one section I even hung onto a barbed wire fence to keep my balance. I may hate the mud but walking life does get a bit boring without it.

Now we are waiting for dinner in the monastery.  We expect it will be pasta for primi and some kind of meat and vegetables for secondi followed by fruit for dessert.  Peter and I have crossed our fingers that we arrived early enough that there may be proper dolce for dessert but I don't really like our chances. Its enough just to be fed and not have to walk 2 kilometres back down the hill to find dinner.

We are so close to Rome now. I don't know when we will arrive.  It is still just a day at a time.  One step at a time.  Right foot. Left foot.  I hope I feel more energetic tomorrow than I do today and I look forward to wearing clean and dry clothes.

Last nights entree crostini with Acciugghe. Delicious.

Little lame way, Viterbo

Piazza San Lorenzo, Viterbo

Door of Chiesa San Lorenzo

Inside Chiesa San Lorenzo

Morning view over Viterbo

Chiesa San Lorenzo

Peter looking at Chiesa San Lorenzo

Leaving Viterbo

The road we walked carved into the rocks

Peter leading the pack


Another deserted farmhouse

Loved this cloud lying low over the countryside