Healed up and ready to rumble

Theresa Elliott teaching the other day aboard a cruise ship docked in Seattle

“Make sure you’re stretching your calf muscles,” wrote Theresa, my fiancée. As usual, she was right on. It’s funny how a sore foot becomes a sore calf which becomes a sore foot. As I massage deeply into my calf muscle I feel a twinge in the exact spot where my foot hurt.

When I say, “hurt” I mean exactly that. The pain is now mostly gone, thanks to Theresa’s stretching and also to PT Diane Gaidon’s suggestion of an Arnica gel massage. That means I’m back on the road.

The next question becomes, where to land on my original itinerary? If I pick up after Fidenza, where I left off, this is what the distances would look like, along with the guidebooks’ ratings:

  • Fidenza to Fornovo – 34 km. “Challenging”
  • Fornovo to Cassio – 19 km. “Challenging”
  • Cassio to Passo Della Cisa – 19.5 km. “Challenging.”
  • Passo Della Cisa to Pontremoli – 32 km. “Challenging”
  • Pontremoli to Aulla – 32 km. “Challenging”
  • Aulla to Avenza –  32.7 km. “Very Challenging”

The itinerary doesn’t sound brilliant for someone recovering from a foot injury. Essentially the walk takes pilgrims five and a half days through the mountains and down to the sea at the beachy area just south of the famed Cinque Terre. The route doesn’t flatten out until the little town of Sarzana, between Aulla and Avenza.

Screen shot of the SloWays app and its map of my proposed reentry to the itinerary at Sarzana.

So that’s my plan for tomorrow. Take the train to Fidenza, where I left the trail, then take the train to Sarzana, waving as I go by to several of the towns on the original walking itinerary. When I arrive in Sarzana I’ll walk three hours on the hopefully flat terrain to Avenza. The next couple of days after that should give flat and foot-friendly walks that will help me get back on track for the hundreds of miles that still remain.

I don’t want to hurt my arm, too, but I’m reaching around to pat myself on the back for coming to Parma to heal up. It’s an entertaining town and a welcome and worthy substitute for my first love: walking. Even so, it’ll be great to be back on the road to Rome starting tomorrow.

I’ll leave you with a few random photos of lovely Parma.


9 thoughts on “Healed up and ready to rumble

  1. …did you have your camera’s “vivid” mode on when your lovely pictures were taken? Your skies are just too “blue” for my tired “eyes!” I send you more blessings. Stay with it–you are not alone walking. We are all walking with you invisibly as well…

  2. Glad to hear you are healed…happy continuation…enjoying your humourtouristic [ new English word] comments on Parma yesterday…
    Please can you advise me…I have also downloaded the Sloways maps but if I zoom in to enlarge the map when I am online or offline.. it just jumps back to being so small that I cant see the name of the towns…is there a way to save the maps once downloaded to stop this problem….Please can you send me a crash course for dummies how to store the SloWays info maps to be viewed offline…thank you and bon camino for tomorrow..

    • You have to download the maps, which is an important step to take and best to do it while you have free WiFi. I did this before I left and have forgotten the steps, but explore some and you will find the easy steps to downloading the maps. The important value is that you can then use SloWays without a cell data connection, which saves $s (or €s).

    • Sorry. I suggest you contact Customer Support at SloWays and ask for their help. I’m afraid I don’t know the program well enough to offer any meaningful assistance. Good luck!

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