The great bonus with staying in a parrocchia or donative is because not only are they cheap (mostly what you can afford), but it is a chance to meet others doing the same walk, swap ideas and experiences, talk intimately about life and talk to people from varying cultures.

There were 16 of us at dinner where we had soup, bread, some chicken or beef, salad, water frizzante and wine – all for eu10 each. There was an older Dutchman, Frenchman and a Swiss, a younger Spaniard, an even younger Italian by bike, a still younger Englishman with his new Italian bride, and us 4.

An entertaining night mostly engineered by the ‘many tongue Spaniard’ who could converse with everyone. It gave Sabina and Bertrand a chance to have a break from English, and us an opportunity to talk English easily and more deeply with others. All this happened at one long table (no-one else there) on the other side of a long bridge stretching over a light flowing stony river, from the delightful ambience of the old town to the foothills of the Apennines.

Nearly everyone was up at 5.30 so no need for whispering at that time, in and out of showers and toilets quickly, last minute preparations for the day – water bottles filled, bandages and tape applied, meds taken, paper in shoes to dry them removed, washing packed. Out into the coolish morning for breakfast and over another bridge on to a busy tarmac road.

Walkers sometimes have to choose a busy road when the alternative is very long and there are no villages – more a test of great endurance, that is if you can make the distance. It is a pity because time is spent watching cars and looking out for each other rather than enjoying the scenery.

We will meet up with Bertrand’s wife today as she arrives on another camino with 2 girlfriends. In the meantime we hope to explore a bit of this ancient village and then say our ‘aurevoirs’ to our French friends – we will miss them, their great sense of fun and their enthusiasm for life.