Mostly urban back roads. Country lanes mid walk. Sweetcorn harvest in progress. Accidentally fondled a man's knee. Oops. Hot humid.
Just before Midnight (still Friday) Neil set out for Gatwick. The car journey was uneventful except for some confusion at Airparks where he got in amongst the buses and had trouble getting back out. The Easyjet flight was the first out that day. The arrival in Verona was so early that Neil decided to kill time by walking from the airport to the City. There was a pedestrian route near the airport but it was flooded. Undeterred, Neil got wet and muddy only a couple of minutes into the walking holiday. Is that a record?
At the hotel, Neil discovered that he had already paid by card so he'd brought far too much cash. It was too early to get the room so minus rucsak, he headed towards the railway station a few hundred metres away. He went to Brescia and did the first leg of the walk to Rezzato.
This was pleasant in parts. The main road could be avoided except near the end. One housing estate had footpaths designed on LSD. There were dead ends and unexplained meanders. The path crossed the road several times. Neil finished up walking on the grass to bridge the gaps. Perhaps the paths made sense to car owners. Later on, in a more rural section, ripe dry sweetcorn was being harvested.
On the bus from Rezzato back to Brescia, there was no fare to pay. Perhaps there are free passes for the over sizties. Nice! With no useful sleep for 34 hours, Neil was getting groggy. It was quite hot and his arm was dangling. The man in the seat behind either had really long thighs or he was slumped forward. Either way Neil's hand landed on his knee. Thinking it was part of the seat, neil gripped it. It seemed a little odd because it was not fastned on properly. After giving it a really good wiggle to see if would fall off, Neil realised what he has doing. In a rare moment of clarity he apologised in French, not wishing to bring the British into disrepute. The poor man huffily moved seat.
The rest of the day was uneventful. The hotel room was small but nice and there were enough power sockets for once. They all worked too. These northern italians are nearly Swiss! The room was too warm really but just right in a state of undress.
In October, the weather in northern Italy includes misty, humid and mild episodes, with temperatures between 16 and 24C. The humidity has been as high as 90% which makes for uncomfortable sweaty walking. This warm humid period ended with ten hours of thunder storms and downpours. Sunny intervals, cooler conditions and more mists followed.
The trip planning was disrupted because my brother Ian was in and out of hospital with a gradually worsening condition. We had to arrange dog sitters at short notice which was a success. During the week, Ian's leg ballooned and became painful. The day after my return he was back in hospital and quickly transferred to the regional hospital because they have better resources. With hindsight it might have been better to cancel the trip although Ian was quite well when I departed.
It turned out that Ian had cancer, initially in the prostate but it had spread to his lymph nodes. This was causing the bleeding in his lungs, nose, leg and finally brain. Ian died on November 16th. Once again, the walk is on pause while Ian's affairs get sorted out.