…just not along a canal.
Actually I only tonight caught up on our statistics; we actually crossed the five hundred mile point a few days ago. So we are definitely more than halfway there, both in time and in space! Today also marked 40 days on the road—a number of great biblical significance—and the noonday devil struck with a renewed fury.
At least we weren’t car-dodging, and had a more or less dedicated pedestrian/bike lane to follow (though at least once we had to climb through a construction site again to keep following the lane). But it was straight—flat—unvarying—boring boring boring! We think that walking on an unchanging path also causes something like repetitive stress injuries; it’s strangely hard on the body. The scenery around and about didn’t have much to offer, either. The one exception was our first glimpse of rice fields and rice harvests. The fascination factor there ran out pretty quickly.
After lunch we passed the time reading aloud from Dante’s Divine Comedy—starting with hell, of course, as it seemed to match our environment best. By some inexplicable turns of events, my seemingly endless years of liberal education managed to omit this great classic. So, since I’m spending this long stretch in Italy and am a great fan of Dorothy Sayers otherwise, I thought it was time to give it a go with her translation. The slavering miseries of the damned were certainly a helpful distraction from the torments of the canal.
The other great distraction of the day was an attempt to lance a blister with cotton thread soaked in rubbing alcohol. There are no words to describe how painful this was (except maybe words that Dante has already put to good use in describing the sufferings of the underworld). That slowed our progress for awhile.
And then almost as a matter of course we had rain in the evening, almost up to our arrival at 7:30, which is the time it gets dark now. As the sun was setting it peeked through the clouds even as it continued to rain, so we looked for a rainbow. But we didn’t see one. Some days are just like that.