Once upon a time, there was a truth to be seen while walking along The Ridgeway among hills in Wiltshire. Night wasn’t falling at all. It was rising. The darkness filled the valleys from the floor up. Another time, after walking 35 km from the White Horse at Uffington, I was collected by my friend who lived locally and told me that everyone knew mobile phones don’t work reliably along the ley lines. Had I only known of the ancient ley lines when I got to Avebury?[Read more…] about Ley Line Walking
People say that Wordsworth wrote in praise of the early morning in London, saying that ‘Earth has not anything to show more fair’. That was in 1802, half a century before before the The Great Stink changed the way London used the River Thames for waste management.
About a year ago, while walking around London, I saw snails massing on the tarmac path in the rain. A short time later, I saw a shrew on the pavement by my feet. The little shrew then left the pavement to walk across the road only to be clipped by a passing car.
I wondered if it was my fault. Had the shrew fled from me? Then again I didn’t build the road, I didn’t build the car. I had just walked and encountered the shrew.
Today, August 10th was supposed to be the day we walked into Rome. Two of us, hopefully still friends after a very long talk. 2700 km of talk.
The pre-pandemic plan was to walk from Manchester to Rome. Our departure date was going to be April Fools Day. The idea was to walk an average of 25 km, six days per week. We’d have made 114 hikes over 131 days. We still don’t know where we’d have washed, slept or eaten but we’re pretty sure we would have done quite a lot of each.
This time next year, a week short of entering Rome on foot, I hope to be resting for a day in Viterbo, between Lakes Bolsena and Bracciano. Each of these lakes occupies the caldera of a dormant volcano and I will enjoy the sight of them.
‘So the first lesson about trusting your senses is: don’t. Just because you believe something to be true, just because you know it’s true, that doesn’t mean it is true.’ (from Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain by David Eagleman).
So, this is journal number 150 and I’m wondering if Siena is a nice place to visit. We’d have spent last night there and be walking down the last eleven days to Rome if not for the pandemic. Our plan had us continuing along the Via Francigena, reaching Ponte d’Arbia tonight where we’d planned to rest for our weekly day off. I think we’d have stayed a second night in Siena instead. I’ll try to remember this for next year, assuming waves of pandemic and panic won’t prevent us trekking from Manchester to Rome in 2021.
There’s a letter regarding life insurance on the counter this morning. It includes a Covid alert that seems strangely inappropriate on a renewal notice.