VIA FRANCIGENA-Canterbury to Rome Day 42

Day 42 Bourg St. Pierre to Great Saint Bernard Pass to St. Oyen.
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About a 1,000 meter ascent and descent.
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Today marked the halfway point of our pilgrimage going over the 2,469 meter (8,100 feet) Great St. Bernard Pass.
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On the way up we enjoyed the mountain scenery and a pleasant encounter with Father Matthew from Kerala, India who is currently Pastor of a parish in Switzerland. He is also a Camino de Santiago veteran.
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Seems we are now running into at least a pilgrim or two a day which adds to the joy.
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We made it to the Pass just before noon and were welcomed at the Hospice by a friendly volunteer hospitalero, Rudolph, who reminded me of Heidi’s grandfather in the old Shirley Temple movie.
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He sat us down for a rest and a hot tea and then a tour of the amazing chapel.
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Rudolph was then leaving to go home after his week long stay as a Hospitalero here.
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Mika very happy about finally making it to Italy after 42 days.

The weather was good so we continued ourselves down the pass a bit further than we were planning.

Passing through St. Rhemy en Bosses we came to a house which had a carboard pilgrim offering a break spot with chairs and snacks and drinks. It was almost 3 and we had not had any food since yesterday. This was the first offering of this sort we have experienced in almost 6 weeks.
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At the Pass

It appeared at the perfect time just when it was needed most as my legs were shit from the steep descent.

We finally arrived in St. Oyen and found Chateau Vedun had a room for us. A wonderful old Parish owned hostel with lots of character.
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They have been welcoming pilgrims here for over a thousand years.
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Coming into Italy is so exciting. Switzerland was beautiful but I like the energy here better.
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There is an increased focus on the Pilgrimage with all kinds of welcome signs, interest by the locals, even much better Way markings.
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Finally a live St. Bernard

I like how they use yellow arrows as the Camino de Santiago does.

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Mika at St. Bernard Pass

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Just coming into Italy

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Simple food is best after a long tough ascent and descent.

We sat down for dinner and the first course was a incredibly delicious simple spaghetti with tomato sauce.

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Second course was equally good.

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A sure sign we are now in Italy. A jar of grated Parmesan served with the spaghetti.

What an end to a fabulous day!

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Happy to answer any questions and help in any way.