You knew it would come in handy – 2

When you meet pilgrims on horses, you need a camera…

Via Francigena pilgrims - on horses! Follow Me on Pinterest

Via Francigena pilgrims - on horses!

The next morning we left via Rue de Gare and walked to the railway station and through the underpass making our way to Route D’Evian which led to a combined cycle – walking path along the Rhone River. Although the path was flat, it was asphalted so we tried to keep to the grassy verges as much as possible.

The problem with walking on asphalt or concrete surfaces was that the same set of muscles were exercised, sometimes causing sore feet or legs. When walking longer distances, irregular surfaces made for better walking.

The sound of the clip clop of horses’ hooves behind made us turn around. Two riders approached. A most impressive sight, mounted upon their horses along with their small white dog. They were Paul and Babette, also traveling the Via Francigena. We chatted a while, glad of some new company.
This was a novel experience for us. I had to take a picture. Travelling without a camera or a diary/notebook/journal is only half travel. (Handy Items 23 and 24).
Robert Louis Stevenson once said that he travelled just for the sake of it, but I’d say that he should have told us “so that he could write down his experiences and share them with us.
They had already travelled the Camino to Santiago de Compostela and written a book on it which was currently with their publishers. They could only follow trails that were horse friendly and each night had to find suitable  accommodation for their horses, dog and themselves. Truly a challenge. Paul and Babette waved adieu, clip clopped on and disappeared behind a bend in the track.
It must have been meeting Paul and Babette that got me thinking about pilgrims arriving in Rome and Jubilee Years in particular. In the Old Testament every fiftieth year was a year of celebration and forgiveness, where debts were forgiven, slaves were sometimes set free and much emphasis was placed on doing good deeds and praising God. With Christianity, the forgiveness of material debts was replaced by the remission of sins.
We were on our way to Rome and it was a good thing to have a camera and a diary. Although not strictly what you would normally call “walking gear” items, they are indispensible for the walker. So make sure you add that to your list.
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