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- Voghera Pavia Binasco, Italy

Day 4

June 30th, 2010

Day 4:  June 10, 2010

Voghera - Pavia - Binasco, Italy

This morning I awoke so refreshed from sleeping in a bed.  It was so refreshing for my body, that during my slumber my body performed some self repair worked and began healing one of my blisters, some of my close friends.  I took a shower to awaken my body and my bones, then off to fill my stomach with food.  Downstairs I met Carmen's husband at breakfast.  He was such a kind man, he didn't talk as much English as Carmen did, but he could say a thing or two.  he brought me some coffee and bread and I had my fill of the two.  I then shoved all my things back in my pack, said farewell to my Philippine friends, and then off towards Pavia.

I eventually made it out of Voghera and then after a while got to Pavia.  A little outside of Pavia I got lost and so I stopped and asked for directions.  I saw this lovely old man at a gas station and asked him the direction to Pavia.  It seems I was a bit off the main road so he and his wife offered to take me back to the main road into Pavia.  I accepted seeing as that I didn't have to back track any and we had a lovely conversation.  Their names were Renato and Aurora.  Aurora is a professor at the big university in Pavia and we talked about that a bit.  You see we didn't do too much talking for their English wasn't the best, but we got enough of the main points across.  Anyway they dropped me at the main road into Pavia and Aurora gave me her hat so I could remember them.  It didn't fit, but it was a kind gesture and I will remember them whenever I look at that little hat.   After that is a was a little walk into the heart of Pavia.  This was the biggest city I have walked into so far so it was a bit overwhelming, but so beautiful.  Just cobble stone roads leading everywhere and old Italian buildings towering all around, it was wonderful.  I found a nice park to take a rest in and sat myself down and rested.  It was about lunch time.  I was getting hungry.

A few minutes went by, then this young boy walks up to me.  He attempts to converse in Italian, but I tell him I only speak English.  He looks disappointed then asks if I speak Spanish, I looked a bit surprised, because not many speak Spanish in Italy and said yes, but very little.  Thankfully my private school education in Memphis taught me a little and my friendship with some workers at the Nashville Sheraton Hotel, Jose and Whis helped as well.  So we began to talk a little in Spanish.  His name was Maritzo, he was from Venezuela and in high school in Italy.  He spouted off in his fluent tongue while I struggled to keep up and responded sometimes in my broken and poor Spanish.   But we got most of the points across. His friend Rudy, from Bolivia came up and talked with us.   A good ways into our conversation I started getting real hungry, so I asked where some places to eat were.  He took me to this fast food pizza place. I got something cheap and had my fill then I asked for Maritzo to show me back to the main road towards Milano.  He said sure and we were on our way. Rudy had to go somewhere else so I said goodbye to him.  Now the funniest thing happened on the way to the main road.  You see for Maritizo speaking English is apparently a cool thing at his school and him being a young 17 year old boy, being cool is at the forefront of his mind.  So for the next fifteen minutes or more, every single time a pretty little girl his age or "cool" looking boy his age walked by he immediately would look at me and say, "hablo english, hablo english." I mean every single time.  So I would look back and start to say the silliest things to him in English, I mean really stupid things that if someone knew English would have thought we were lunatics instead of "cool."  He would look back at me and smile and laugh and say, "yes, yes."  It was really entertaining.

I come to find out after some sharp observation that Maritizo took me the long way towards the main road and actually by his school.  His cunning little plan was to use my native language to make him appear "cool" to his class mates.  So I caught on to his little plan and started spouting off the silliest things in Spanish, and doing it very loudly.  He would get kind of flustered and a bit embarrassed and lean in and say, just speak English not Spanish (he said this in Spanish).   So eventually he pointed me in the direction and off I went towards Milano.

I had to ask a few times for directions but eventually got out of the city.  Where there began a canal and a bike/walking path along said canal.  I found out that the canal goes all the way into Milan so I set off following it.  About an hour into the walk along the canal my grandmother, Mary Ann, calls me.  Oh it was so wonderful to hear a familiar voice.  She gave me some encouragement and told me to keep on.  So I did.  Boy let me tell you that canal path after I got out of the city was endless.  I mean I could look behind me and look forward and both went on for what appeared forever.  Just look at what I am talking about:

From Pavia.

To Milan.

I mean it wears on you mentally to see that for hours and hours and not to see any end in sight.  So the walking was long and endless.  After hours and hours of that I start looking for a place to put my tent and sleep.  The sun was starting to go down so I knew it was getting about stopping time.  The canal path started going by some farms on the right so I started looking for a nice tree and flat ground to sleep on.  Then I see two fellas working right off the road next to a rice field.  I stop and ask if I can camp on the land.  The one fella that could speak a bit of English said yes and pointed at some trees and told me to go there.  So I walk back a little bit then Find a nice flat spot under a big tree and next to a nice stream flowing into the rice fields surrounding me.  As I was setting up my tent the fellas drive over to me.  The one that told me I could camp asked if I wanted something to eat.  I agreed and thirty minutes later he comes back with two sandwiches with his home made salami and a bottle of water.  His name Gaetano and he was a rice farmer.  We talked for a little bit then he had to go back home.  I thanked him for all he did for me and then after dinner I went off to bed.  Man what a blessing, a nice place to sleep and dinner.  The LORD is good.

Here are some pictures from Gaetano's rice field.

Dinner and a story.

My view during dinner.

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