Saturday 1 November.
I went to the toilet at 5 am tripped into the sunken shower and pulled down the shower holder with a clatter, this wakened Moira a who was still sound asleep. I made her a cup of tea to cheer her up. We didn't get up until 6 am then had breakfast and packed. We were all wrapped up again for the cold but it wasn't necessary, it was a mild morning and soon they were off and packed away. Later I even thought about taking off my fleece as it got quite hot by mid-day.
It was another day like yesterday as regards the route. Narrow country lanes and at times gravel tracks winding between the fields. At least there weren't any rivers or streams to ford which pleased Moira. After 2 hours walking we stopped at the village of San Rocco for our morning break and cup of tea. The bench was outside the cemetery and it was quite busy with people coming and going. Today was 'All Saint's Day' and it appears to be the time to visit the graves of your departed family and friends.
When we got started again I estimated it was only about 10 km to the finish for the day in Fidenza. We were hoping to get a bed at the Convent there but it closed from mid-day until 3:30 pm so it was doubtful whether we would make it before their siesta. We took It easy and it was becoming a bit of a slog these long flat sections, tomorrow we hit some hills again so it wil be a change having a variation in the profile. The next place we passed through was Castione Marchest, it was a long strung out town and we stopped for a rest in the square. After that there was the motorway and railway to cross before the last few kilometres to Fidenza. Twice we had to go over the A1 motorway and the bridges were high and twisting, they must have cost a fortune and just to take a minor road across.
As usual when we got our first glimpse of the towers of the churches and the end for the day it never seemed to get any nearer as the road twisted round the town before entering. Eventually we reached the church in Duomo Piazza but the place was dead. It was also a public holiday for 'All Saint's Day' and everything appeared to be closed, there were a few restaurants open but not all of them. I was exhausted and couldn't be bothered wandering about, I parked myself down on a patch of grass and let Moira search around. She found a Turkish Kebab restaurant that was serving food but nothing else. I was worried that because of this religious holiday that the Convent might not be open to pilgrims and we would then have to find a hotel. We decided to find a hotel now and get settled. The police who we saw in their car directed us to the Hotel Astoria and we booked in, it was €70 including breakfast so it could have been worse. The room was very nice, en suite and the bathroom tiled and luxury. There was WiFi and
I got connect straight away, unfortunately in wasn't very powerful. While we had lunch, a cup of tea brewed up on the cooker and a cheese and tomato sandwich, I tried to download 4 days newspapers. It took for ever and when I tried to post my blog it wouldn't unload the photographs. I went downstairs and it was better there, I got to the last photo and it was 90% complete when it froze. I decided to take out the photos and publish then after some cursing when the Internet cut out I was successful. I eventually published the whole week's blogs but without any pictures.
The rest of the afternoon we spent reading the papers and I attempted a crossword. We went out at 5:30 pm to try to find a place to eat. The town had livened up, lots of people were walking about the piazzas and surprise,surprise shops were open. There still wasn't a big choice for restaurants and we ended up in the Turkish kebab place we saw earlier today. We both had the Donner kebab with salad and chips. It was an enormous meal and there was a very nice bread with it, we had a beer to wash it down. It cost in total €15 which wasn't bad, that left enough in the budget for a bottle of wine to have in our room.
We got to sleep just after 9 pm and wakened about midnight, the room was like an oven. The heating was set at 26*C the opposite of what we have been used to in freezing cold hotels and hostels. Moira turned it down and opened the windows, we just had a sheet and cover on the bed.