Oct 25, 2014

A big day tomorrow

It's been a very calm and restful two days here in Ivrea, but this afternoon I realised I wanted to be walking again. The blister on my right heel is still throbbing gently, but another full night of sleep should help with that.

What will also help is that I probably won't start actually‎ walking until around noon, perhaps even later. I made contact with the Orthodox priest in Ivrea and found out where the church meets and what time the services begin. Matins is at 8:00, followed by an Akathist, and then Liturgy begins at 10:00. The priest's name is Fr. Dumitru, so it may very well be his name day tomorrow. (St Demetrios the Myrhh-Streaming)

The church is 2.5 km away from the hostel where I've been staying, and the road to get there is at right angles to the route out of Ivrea that I'll be following for the next section of the Via Francigena. Although I will certainly make a 5 km detour to attend Liturgy, I'm eager to avoid any unnecessary walking. I'd found a map of the immediate area in the hostel, and had started poring over it, looking for a bridge over the river that would allow me to walk along the hypotenuse of the right angled triangle after the service. I couldn't see one, and my very handy GPS navigation app wasn't helping either, so I asked the hospitelera‎ if she had any suggestions. Tomorrow morning, I'll be riding Lorella's bike to church and then picking up my gear when I return it to her. Wonderful solution!

I'm not sure whether I'll be up for the full 35 km hike to Santhià‎ if I'm only starting at noon. There are few places to stop along the way, but according to my guidebook, most of the walking will be on flat tertiary roads with good surfaces and little traffic. If my blistered heel holds up, I could conceivably arrive by 7:00 pm. There is a hostel in town, run by the local Via Francigena organisation, and there are several local cafés which have a key.

In other news, a little while ago Lorella got news of three Irish pilgrims heading this way, about an hour's walk out.‎ As with the two British ex-pats I met at the Great St Bernard Pass, I expect they'll be travelling faster than me. I do enjoy walking alone, but it would also be nice to have some company as I travel. They'll probably be here soon. :)

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