From Pavia to Miradolo Terme
It’s 8.30 am: I leave the train station in Pavia and reach the Cathedral because I have to meet with a friend of mine for a quick chat and breakfast, but before the coffee I look for the tourist information point to get the first stamp on my credential, the first one of many to get to Rome.
After the stamp and the breakfast it’s already time to get in the way, this leg is long and it’s already 9.30 am.
Once I get to the road where I can find the first stickers and signals about the Francigena it starts raining; I have to wait until the storm is over, then I leave my friend and start my journey.
This leg is not full of panoramas and great views and most of all the road is completely on tarmac.
Right outside Pavia the storm comes back to hit me even with hail which catches me unprepared and with no shelter. Enough time to find a shelter and take out my new poncho (the substitute of the “Made in China” one I destroyed during the Way of the Gods) and the hail stops; the stormi s still there then I proceed on the road covered by the raincoat. After 5 kms the rain stops and kI quickly remove the raincoat, because it’s hot as hell under that thing.
The Paved road keeps on going on until I reach a dirt road which surrounds a quarry, from here for the last 10 kms I find dirt trails between green fields and paddy fields, the tarmack is smooth and easy and usually dry but after 20 kms my feet need softer terrain.
Hats off to the volunteers who pass with stickers and signals, because up to here, for what I saw, it’s quite impossibile to get lost, the stickers are almost on every pole, wall or any other surface which they can be sticked to.
Passing by Belgioioso and Santa Cristina I finally get to Miradolo Terme. I reach out the first bar to have a sandwich and a fresh beer, then I get to the hostel that’s basically in front of the bar.
It’s been a hard leg because of the length and because it was the first; after the Way of the Gods I’ve been lazy for the two following weeks and didn’t get too much road in my legs.