The Camino provides. That is the saying. And this one keeps on giving. Yesterday my Mom, Sylvie and I checked out of our Aosta accommodation where we had passed a week. What a week. We said tearful goodbyes to our Italian hosts and their parrot. Thank you Hotel Caminetto and Aosta for holding us in your soft embrace. My Mom jumped into the ambulance, loaded with backpacks, transporting my Dad to a clinic in Navaro where he will undergo surgery next week. Sylvie and I hopped on a bus which dropped us on a busy highway. Intrepid pilgrims that we are, we navigated 40 minutes on foot towards the clinic. We found my Dad in great spirits as usual, excited to note a small wine bar across the road. He’s avidly planning his exit adventures in Novara, which he had already googled before arrival. William Rothschild is adept at finding life’s gifts. When we get home we are to intensify our family get togethers with extra gusto, he informs us. He likes to call it Shabbat. He has watched the Italian families communing in the hospital and it has lit a fire.
In the meantime, my Mom has been whisked off by a male nurse to the stately convent across the road where she will be accommodated. Paul then leads her to the old city to book a restaurant for us for dinner. Saint Paul or what? Unless you were a local you would not know from the exterior that this is a restaurant. We turn up later to a full house and get offered a signature dish that the kitchen has in surplus before our orders arrive. Our waitress regards Novara to be a city that God has forgotten. No big attractions. She also says it is protected by Saint Gaudenzio, the name of our clinic. I’m guessing it’s going to be divinely unforgettable.