…has turned out be quite frustrating. Reminding me how I felt in the first week, although with such good times since then I hope I respond better emotionally and trust in The Lord and the negative feelings will pass!
The next campsites on the map were on Lake Bracciano, which is further than I wanted to go as I have plenty of time and wanted an easier day after yesterday; maybe 55-60km.
Breakfast by the lake was lovely and I set off to spend some time in Bolsena. It is a very pretty town, as most are, but nothing of any particular note. It is very sure of its place on the Via Franciega, which is a Catholic pilgrimage route from Canterbury to Rome. So all the churches are well signed. One in particular intrigued me, and here the first frustration starts! Bolsena is the ‘citta del miracolo eucharistico’ (not sure of my Italian here?) A long time ago during the Eucharist in this church, the crucifix started bleeding and stained all the ceremonial stuff. They still have a bit of the marble altar with stain on and this morning, as seems to be a normal routine, loads of people were popping in on their way to work and touching and praying to the bit of stone. I felt sick to my stomach, it was such hideous religiosity that these people are kept so ignorant of what it says in the scriptures that they think this is of any help to them! I cycled away as fast as I could and prayed to the living Lord who made those stones and whom I know personally. (I am having to resist throwing this phone across the room it incensed me so!)
As predicted it was a climb out of the bowl, but then the usual ups and downs and a good ride to Viterbo. I got caught up in a little medieval parade with drums, which was exciting. When I asked what it was for I was told it was some religious festival that climaxes tomorrow with the carrying of a huge Mary statue through the streets. Ugh! I found the info office and enquired about campsites. She told me, in an unfriendly way, that the only campsite between here and Roma is on Lago di Vico. Now I knew there were some on Lagi di Bracciano, so she replied, ‘well, between here and Bracciano then!’
However, that was too far for today, so I asked for the details about Lago di Vico. She pointed, twice, to the SW corner of the lake, and wrote down the address.
I looked at the map and decided that continuing to follow SS2 around the mountain seemed preferable to going over it, so set off. It turned out to be still quite a climb, but that was ok, it wasn’t far. My legs were tired from yesterdays excursions, so as I pulled off the SS2 for the dash up to lake I was ready to stop, and for a swim in the lake! Down to the lake; no campsite sign-posted. Along the southern shore; still no sign. So I stopped into a shop and asked, to be told it was another 4km up the lake, on the NE shore! I was so frustrated, not helped by being very tired too. It is always annoying to have to divert from the route by so much. More annoying when it is downhill, because that means additional uphill tomorrow! And even more annoying when it turns into an 11km detour- that’s an extra 22km on the route by the time I go back! Maybe someone could turn that rant into a letter and send it to the Tourist Info in Viterbo for me.
It is a campsite I would normally love. Quaint, remote and basic, very few people staying. But tonight I want a pool, English-speaking company and a shop close enough to buy breakfast in! Still, it really is beautiful so I need to get over that and enjoy it. Tomorrow I will see how I feel, bit I may just do the 30km to Lago di Bracciano and have an easy day, or I am keen to get to Roma so maybe I’ll do one last big push before a few days off. I have plenty of time, as next will be a bit more train, so I’ll see!