Our hybrid route added a few kilometers to our day, but had a double benefit: a gradual gradient (for the most part) and a mid morning cafe. To rejoin the route directly from Faeto would have been a steep downhill, followed by a climb back up to 900m, then another descent towards Troia.
The weather was more predictable today – incessant strong winds, a bit like walking in a Canterbury nor’wester. The masses of wind turbines now makes sense. Fortunately the wind also dried out the trail. Once we rejoined the official route, it was on dirt farm tracks, which would have been impassable in yesterday’s rain. Timing is everything. Unfortunately the wind was not quite strong enough to deter the flies. I think these guys would give the flies in the Australian outback a run for their money.
Tonight we are staying in one of the few true pilgrim albergues on the entire via francigena del sud, in a section of an old convent in downtown Troia. We have the place to ourselves, so we’ll be missing the true albergue experience of a dorm full of smelly, snoring pilgrims, some of whom would be up in the dark tomorrow rustling plastic bags as they prepare for their day’s walk!