Friday, June 29, 2012

The Via Francigena: a small family affair

Detail of Pilgrims in Canterbury Cathedral

The Via Francigena is already feeling like a small family affair in comparison to the extended family clan reunion of the Camino de Santiago.

I have been in contact by email with Alison Raju and Paul Chinn, both of whom have written guides for the VF. Gord and I met Alison on the Le Puy route in France the first year we started the camino. At 70 she was walking with more than twice what we were carrying and we still could not keep up with her pace. We were probably order number one when her book was released on the VF.

Paul Chinn's Lightfoot guide is also newly updated and so freshly done that Paul has kindly sent his proof copy to Canterbury where it will be waiting for us on arrival.

There are so few pilgrims who walk this route that Gord and I are starting to refer to them by name as we read their posts on the small but mighty yahoo group for the Via Francigena. We may run into Philippe if our side trip to Belgium allows him to catch up but not overtake us. Otherwise we may be making the journey mostly on our own, with only small traces in visitors logs of those who have come before.

As I mentioned before this is a small intimate family dinner involving no jostling to get some of Great Aunt Gertrude's famous potato salad at the reunion BBQ.