October 30


Monday October 29, as we approach Mereto di Tomba for an overnight stay in a sports center (photo of Albert and AG – Filipinos who are on their third climate pilgrimage with me). the mountains are of Slovenia come into view in the distance as town signs are now shown in both Italian and Slovene. This is the second day of long flat roads with wind and rain since Pordenone, though not yet what can be called cold weather. Federica, a friend of FOCSIV volunteer Eva, joined us for two days until the Sunday stopover in San Giovanni di Casarsa. Frederica has applied to fulfil a 4-year PHD course in Venice on climate science, and bravely faced our fist rain day since the pilgrimage began. From Casarsa, we were joined by three workers from Casarsa where people with special needs are part of the LaLuna community (Associazone di Volontariato) where there was a late evening presentation before about three dozen local people. The journey now transitions from a sunny warm three weeks since Rome, as each day now the walk is taken against the elements and busy traffic; the pilgrimage becomes more one of completing each day step by step with much less opportunity for conversation or scenic photography, but warm welcomes upon arrival as the emphasis is changing to dry clothing for the next day. Unexpected internet in Casarsa allowed time to briefly catch up with world news which sadly reported the election result in Brazil which is not promising for indigenous peoples or the Amazon rainforest, and the halting of the Juliana lawsuit about to start in Oregon. Also learning that greenhouse gas emissions in 2018 are probably the most ever recorded which adds to the importance of making significant progress in Katowice in December.

The stopover in Venice (October 25), or more precisely a small town close by, was an opportunity for walkers to make a visit to St. Mark’s Square and other tourist sites, though Patrick and myself stayed behind to catch up at an internet café for work, as we’d both previously been to Venice. With a complex networks of highways and industrial landscape, buses and trains were the best route the following day to Pordenone, where Luciana  and Donata (pictured) hosted us at the Casa Madonna Pellegrina catholic complex, where a tree was planted. (Patrick, Berenice and I took advantage of a needed visit to the local launderette while others made a tour of the old town.)

Monday 29 we met with about 36 young people at Mereto di Tomba who were attending a one-month summer camp to work with young children and took part in our evening presentation and information about the pilgrimage. (Photo – presentation.) Tuesday 30: Probably because of the bad weather in northern Italy we went to Udine by bus and were then driven to Cervignano, close to our next walk to Monfalcone ahead of Trieste. Jut learning of the flooding in Venice where most of us were last Friday. As I complete writing this blog, the sun is beginning to make a reappearance, so I hope the coming days will make the next part of the journey more acceptable as we approach the Alps.

Afterthought: The hedgehog – almost forgot. The night sleeping on mattresses in Mira found a hedgehog making tours of my sleeping bag – in the dark, I had no idea what was causing lack of sleep, except in the morning Patrick was able to make short film of this intruder. Not the best night’s sleep to date.