Today’s Miles: 17.5
Total Miles: 3,524.3
Near Orono, Italy – January 3, 2017
Voices are louder on this side of the Alps, less whispered, less contained, more like low shouts washing over each other and competing for space. Vowels linger off the end of words, hanging in the air, brightening the sound. The houses are lighter, more white walls and red tile roofs instead of dark stone. When I ask for directions at the train station, the man doesn’t just answer, he smiles, holds my arm, and leads me where I need to go.
I take my old straw hat out for the first time in months to keep the sun off my face. I shed jackets and gloves. It’s warm outside as long as the sun shines.
The night is still cool. I feel it in the air as I watch the sun slip away from the last mountains before the Po Valley. Below, the electric grid lights up the night, stretching across the flatlands, strung out along roads, clumping around cities. Behind me, the mountains are dark, almost hidden in a haze with nothing but tiny pockets of light to mark the villages. I hope to see them at sunrise, to catch a glimpse of the white-capped peaks in the distance, because I know that this is goodbye to them. Tomorrow I’ll drop into the valley and the mountains will fade into the horizon with every step until they disappear.