It was an easy and difficult day, at the same time. Easy, because of distance to hike (only 13 km) and fairly comfortable trail.
Difficult, because it was the last day of proper hiking and I felt sad about this. I just “felt into the routine of pilgrimage” when one has a fairly established pattern of life. Getting up at around 7.30 am, being on trail one hour later, hiking until mid-day hopefully reaching a place related to St. Francis life, having a little personal meditation and reflection, a simple lunch, short siesta, back on trail, getting to a town “X,” setting into your accommodations, getting into town to meet the locals (who were always more than welcoming), learning a few interesting things about local life style, having a delightful meal in a local trattoria, failing into a sleep really fast because of physical tiredness. In short, I felt like I can stay on “the trail” for months. But…today was the last day. Montelibretti is the town to spend the night and I cannot wish having better accommodations and view from our room
If someone would ask: “What was most memorable about this day?”, the respond would be easy: the continuing amazing welcoming spirit and generosity of people whom we met. Just two examples. First, we settled into our B&B and mentioned to our hosts that – we heard – there is nearby a huge Olive tree which is believed to be the oldest Olive tree in the world: how can we hike there? Their respond was: sorry, it is a bit far away. About 20 km. So, we “rested our case” and forgot about our inquiry. But, couple of hours later, a knock on our door and our hosts ask us if we would like to have a ride there, to see the oldest Olive tree in the world (the estimates of age vary between 2000 and 2400 years old). Sure enough, the answer was: yes. Take a look. I have never seen anything like that
Then, back in town, we walked for couple of hours and stopped at the local bakery to get some supplies for dinner. We mentioned that we are pilgrims and that this is the last day on the trail. When we asked for the bill to pay, essentially we were told that “this is on the house.” Our attempts to leave money were absolutely unsuccessful: they simply won’t take it. So, here is our “donated” supper
What else to remember and mention? Pomegranates. We hit the zone where the pomegranates farms are abundant. And we did it in a right time of year when pomegranates are about to be harvested.
Heading for Rome tomorrow..