Departure: Picinisco – 8:00 am
Distance of the day: 12,5 Km
Progressive km: 57,7
Moving Time: 2h 39m
Elevation gain: 1.011 mt
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
I had fallen asleep with the hope that in the difficulties of that trial, I would be able to better understand the immeasurable depth of life and faith. Yet despite the good intentions, perplexities also remained present in my head, awakening me several times. An old proverb came back to my mind. Between saying and doing, or rather succeeding in putting every intention into practice, there really was that famous sea.
The first day of walking had been tiring, I had been under the lash of prohibitive weather conditions for more than two hours, and the water had managed to infiltrate even under my raincoat. I quickly learned how important it was to stay dry, because if you are very wet you will be forced to stop walking, and if you continue to walk heedlessly you risk getting sick. I had read about how important the use of a cloak had been in the past for pilgrims and wayfarers, but it wasn’t until that freezing night that I understood its vital importance. If you don’t sleep sufficiently insulated from the damp ground during the night frost, your body temperature can drop to the point of death.
I woke up early in the morning, making sure I had finished putting my sleeping bag away before the opening time of the town hall offices. I had breakfast in a local restaurant in the town square using the money from my father’s donation received the day before and shouldered my backpack.
After a few meters through the alleys of the center uphill, the towers and crenellated medieval walls announced my arrival at the castle and the highest part of Picinisco. I passed the belvedere over the picturesque Comino Valley, and continued along the mountain path that leads from the village to the border with Abruzzo. A few minutes down the road I still remember the jolt I felt when the quiet of the woods was interrupted by a sudden, sinister noise. A grunt made me turn suddenly in the direction of the undergrowth, and there I glimpsed some wild boars that, alarmed by my passage, were retreating among the thick vegetation. The much pondered choice of lengthening my route through Abruzzo was beginning to pay off for my need to move to meditate, favored by that state of mind that nature is able to instill. Whenever I planned the stages of my pilgrimage, wherever I found an alternative to the asphalt I preferred it. At my departure from Cassino, I could have taken the Via Casilina in a southerly direction, thus shortening my crossing to Brindisi by many kilometers, but I preferred the Abruzzi route. The old Roman road that arrived easily in Campania, would not have favored me in the search of that peace that I so aspired to contemplate walking. The purpose of my pilgrimage was not at all to reach in the shortest time possible my destination Jerusalem, but to seek the ideal conditions for my spiritual and introspective journey. Beginning with the mountains of Lazio and Abruzzo would really give me the opportunity to start off on the right foot, in union with Creation and accompanied by those simple but fundamental elements that have always lightened my labors. […]
The story of Day 2 continues in the book
Gpx Track Day 2
Max elevation: 3547 ft
Min elevation: 2142 ft
Total climbing: 5836 ft
Total descent: -4614 ft
Average speed: 1.78 m/s
Total time: 05:42:43