June 11, 2017
I should have updated you all earlier. I am out of the mountains! This trek with its mountains and valleys has been perhaps the hardest I have done yet. I am four days walk from Rome and a long awaited beer with Pope Francis. A Jesuit taking the name of St. Francis whose journey I have been making from Assisi. Italians that I’ve met along the way cannot believe an American is doing this trek. In spite of the heat and the challenges of walking the path with all it’s loose stones I am making progress. The path is not always well marked. I’ve gotten lost on several different occasions. My Italian is getting better. I know how to say “I am lost” correctly. It was sounding like I have fish. I do find that the older Italians do speak rudimentary French so I can get by with them.
June 13, 2017
Started my day with a great breakfast provided by my hostess, Claudia. She runs a B&B in Montelibertti. Got terribly lost when I took a wrong turn and ended up in a mess of bramble and cats tails. Came out looking like a fur ball. A farmer answered my call for assistance and gave me a one mile ride back to the Camino. Then several hours later I ran out of water. No faculties on the Way. Five older gentlemen who are runners with the Lazio Running Club, went and got me fresh apricots from a field. Another ran back to his car and got me 1.5 liters of fresh cold water. Incredible! Such kindness to a stranger. Then, I got lost trying to find the B&B I am currently staying at before walking to Monte Sacro tomorrow. A truck driver stopped by the side of the road and asked if I needed a ride into town – Monterotondo. I was so hot and tired I agreed. He gave me a ride to the B&B which was much further than I thought. He wouldn’t take any money. I told him I would offer prayer for him and his family when I arrive at St. Peter’s. Apparently there’s a special entrance into the Vatican for pilgrims. I will let you know what happens on Wednesday when I arrive and present my pilgrim credentials. What a journey so far! No rain. Lots of really hot weather!
June 14, 2017
Dear family and friends:
This morning I went to the Vatican. I showed the priest working at the pilgrim office my credential with all the required stamps. I was given a certificate in Latin verifying that I had walk over 250 miles. Later the Pope came by and wave.Got to get some sleep. Off to Lake Como for a few days on Friday.