A Call from The Deep: Travel diary excerpt


I eat breakfast with Maura, a wonderful person with a large heart. I thank her profusely and start walking. It’s splendid weather, the first light of dawn gifting poetry to these hills. There are two distinct mountain ranges: the first struck by rays of light that pass through the clouds; the second, very distant, sharply-defined and covered in a snowy drape.
Today’s plan is to find some decent lodgings. My idea is to start by asking in the bar, then, if necessary, try the priest or the fire brigade.
There’s no hostel or b&b on the map.
My legs are holding up well with no trace of that pain in my tendons.
The sun soon makes room for a thick blanket of cloud that turns everything colder, more hostile. After a dozen kilometres, a woman around 70 years of age approaches me and asks if I’d like a lift. I hesitate for a moment and then accept.
She’s kind and friendly. Her name’s Carla. She relocated from Emilia to Piemonte forty years ago but still hasn’t quite settled. Like this, she stays resolute.
She doesn’t like the people from Piemonte whom she finds to be false, superficial gossips.
There’s enough time to tell me that she lived for 16 years in Costa Rica where she imported second hand clothes from Italy that she then resold.
As a young woman she hitch-hiked around Italy, as her son, who’s my age, does today.
She also says that they’re both poor and only have enough tears to cry.
Then she laughs with gusto.
She leaves me at a point that wasn’t along my route but that in actual fact puts me 6 to 7km ahead.
She wishes me a safe journey and swiftly disappears with her car into the fog. She had some intriguing black hairs protruding from her nose and bad breath. I also recall the plaster on her right finger caused by a chainsaw. What a crazy woman. And yet what generosity.

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