Remember again and again that the true pilgrimage is into the undiscovered land of your own imagination, which you could not have explored any other way than through these lands, with gratitude in your satchel and the compassion for all you see as your touchstone.
~ Phil Coussineau
We caught our sneaky bus this morning to Sutri. We got on and didn’t know how to pay. The local men who we had chatted to before boarding the bus, told us to keep quiet and not worry about it. We got off sheepishly at our stop. And so we started our 22km walk to Campagnano.
We reached Monterosi late morning, in time for a cappuccino and a delicious freshly squeezed pomegranate and orange juice at a cafe called Gorgeous. We passed and spoke to several new pilgrims on the next stage. Most were tackling sections of the VF. One man had walked from Germany and had been on the road since July. A group of Via Francigena cyclists flew past and then one of them turned back to come and say hello. I immediately recognised his South African accent.
After walking past tilled fields and green countryside, our next stop was for a cool swim at Monte Gelato waterfalls. We shared a panini and acqua frizzante at the nearby cafe.
By 3.30pm we were climbing the steep hill to Campagnano. We decided to stay at the donativo, Parrochia San Giovanni Battista, where most of the pilgrims were headed. In the town we had drinks with three new German girls, catching the late afternoon sun, before dinner. Drinking it in. The excitement is mounting as we close in on Rome.