Thursday, October 3, 2013

The End

A full day off in Rome with only one thing to do, get our Pilgrim/ Via Francigena Certificate and the final stamp for our passport.
We headed out after breakfast, me with my mono pod as a cane and Barbara with her favorite red bag.

Tourists, for sure, only proper with the correct hats.

As a result of the broken rib, about 4 times an hour, my left side goes into lock up mode with spasm. It hits hard, and without helping myself, I grown out loud. Crowd clearing, it's uncontrollable. Like Torrettes Syndrome, it just happens.
If you have ever been to Rome, you know how many beggars you meet. If you have not, it would be hard to imagine. Yesterday we were met my a young girl dressed in rags, hunched over and shaking her cup. Just then, Muscle Spasm! She stood up straight and with eyes of "Wow!" walked away quickly. I suggest using a cane when in Rome.

Waking around St Peter's Square, we located the Pilgrim office. Much smaller then then in Santiago Compsetela, Spain, we got our stamp and Certificate and headed back onto the plazza.

A evening walk and dinner at an outdoor restaurant finished our day.
Tomorrow we need to locate bike boxes for the tandem and pack for the trip home.

This has been a spectacular trip of a lifetime! I'm not sure how we will top this on, but I'm sure we will!
My thanks to Barbara for making this all happen! Without her it would not be possible. What a wonderful life together we are having!

Thank you all for following our adventures. I hope you have enjoyed the photos as much as we enjoyed shooting them and seeing this beauty in person. Keep in touch and we will be on the road soon so you can follow us on another Barbara and Scott Adventure!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


  We made it. The last day was the toughest.

Our day started a a normal day. Breakfast, pack and then shower. Getting out of the large room like shower, stepping down, I slipped and spun around hitting the step up and breaking a rib.

I heard it snap. It took a while to get up, but made it to the bed and lay there screaming for about a minute. After the full body tremble stopped, I got up, dressed a finished packing.

I have been here before. To keep moving is by far the best plan of attack. Get on the bike and ride.

At times, but only at rest stops, wich there were many, the pain was so bad I felt like fainting. As long as we kept moving, I was fine. Slow going, we finished the ride on a straight shot into Rome on heavily traffic auto routes.

We are here in Rome now. The hotel is nice, but we did have a problem with what we felt was a safe spot for the bike in a city with a very high crime rate. We were told that the tandem would remain outside.

Today I'm stiff. Barbara has been doing everything possible to keep me as comfortable as she can.

I'm feeling like "Uncle Joe, moving kind of slow at the Junction."

As I said before, I have been here before and know that the pain will go away. Thinking about what might have happens and not being to finish our journey makes me feal very lucky.

Today we will be heading out into town to get our Cirtificate of accomplishing the Via Francigena and our stamp for the Pilgrim passports.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Another rainy day

Our day started wanting to get on the road as soon as possible. Funny, no matter how hard we have tried, we can't start before 10am.
We were set to go at 8:45 and it started raining harder then we have seen. Looking out from the 3rd floor at heavy rain is more impressive because the rain drops pass you before hitting the ground below. Different then just looking up.
Packed and ready to go, we decided to wait it out and see if things would let up a bit, they did.  The clouds broke and at times, the sun actually came out. Clouds like you see in paintings. Almost unreal.

After getting the bags downstairs for the transport to our next stop. We headed out on soaking wet streets.
Down hill for over 3 miles on a very heavily traveled auto road, the SS2, which is the old Roman rad, La Via Cassia.  Views of the dirt on the side of the road looked as is it would be hard going for the bicycle, so we stayed with La Via Cassia.

We came to the next big town, Viterbro, that was mentioned on the pilgrim route and made our way to the center of town. Checking the map at the central parking lot we located the tourist office for our Pilgrim Passport stamp and went off, pushing the bike to see the town.

The very old town has even an older Medieval Quarter that we followed the signs.  The buildings were older then the rest of the town and restored to a level of tourists expectations, ours anyway.

After a lunch of snails  and raviolis we headed back out on the auto road with a sky that looked as if it could start raining any moment, and it did.
Not a hard rain, but enough rain to get our shoes soaked and backs wet. The cool rain was nice compared to the extreme heat we have been useed to on this trip.
We also have been riding with a strong head wind for the past two days, never a problem for me. The wind is nice without having to be anywhere fast.
On route we came across another very old town, Capranica,  narrow cobbled stone streets, soaking wet, we walked.

Taking our time and lots of photographs, we made it to the other end of the little walled village. The road became smaller and smaller and turned to stairs leading out.

We met two Friendly Pilgrims from Stutgard, Germany that over the years had walked from home. A lot of Pilgrims we have met do sections at a time and over many years, finish the whole route. The couple we met had done many of the Pilgrimage routes.

Our days ride ended at a farm/ hotel, agritourism is big in Italy. Both sides of the long driveway are Hazelnut groves. Planted in long rows with irrigation line running from tree to tree. No Internet access.
I headed out for a hike and photo shoot before dinner and before the next big storm slower rolling in.

We finished our day with a great meal of pork cooked with rosemary and fennel, and mashed potatoes and a chat with a couple from Reading, England. They too were on the road to Rome, on foot, and we're expecting to be there in 3 days.

Tomorrow looks nice for our last day of Our 2year journey to Rome. We are looking to being in the city for a couple of days to see the sights, finish at the Pilgrim office and box the bike.

It has to be said that Italy is bathed in history. This town, Sutri,, where we spent the night, dates back to Etruscan times and even from La Via Cassia we could see the tombs carved out of this tuff that was volcanic ash that has become stone.  The ways of the world are a marvel. The Etruscans left no written records, but their art work is almost other wordly.   The tombs that they used were then used by Romans, Christians, and them storage for animal feed, so goes the cycle of civilization. It's such a gift to see it first hand.