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Parkinsons patient walked 1,080 miles

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Reflections

For the last two weeks, I have been trying to make sense of the walk. Frankly, I am still amazed I finished the walk. Let’s be honest. The idea of walking a 1000 miles is just plain nuts. I have been asked a couple times how I did it.
Without a doubt a big reason I finished the walk was due to the incredible community I live in starting with my medical professionals – big thanks to Dr Michiko Bruno and Peggy Hill. Plus Two good friends, Clive Cowell & Maya Cowell who walked most of the way which was incredible. Mahalo Nui! I have the best partner who supported me throughout the planning and supported me leaving for 3 months, who is the love of my life, Cheryl Dacus

Lastly it was awesome having friends, colleagues and family wish me well on Facebook. Your kind words kept me going. I am very thankful and fortunate to live in such an incredible community.

Mahalo nui loa

Chris

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Day 26 Completo

Day 26 Completo
June 26, 2017
Vatican

My hotel is 1000 feet from the Vatican St Peters Square. I wait until 9:30 am then check out and put Blum backpack in baggage storage.

With my credentials and passport in hand I head to the. Vatican. St. Peter’s square is busy. I go through security and provide my credentials. Ten minutes go by and then the security comes back with the testimonium. It’s a
Black ink on a tracing vellum. It has a gold
Fool incorporated into the testimonium as an anti fraud element.

I smile. It’s done. I made it against all the odds. I still can’t fathom that I took 2 million step and walked over 1,000 miles. It’s too much for me to grasp.l

Completo.

 

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Day 25 Lost in Rome

Day 25
June 25, 2017
Monterotondo To Monte Sacro
Statistics: steps= 31,303
Elevation climbed= 870 feet
Distance walked = 15.1. miles or 24.0 km.

I wake up early and spend the early morning completing some blog posts.i promised the nun who runs this Convent that I would go to 730am mass at the church .the accommodations are very nice and the dining area has a coffee vending machine which I use. At least 3 times this morning. Yum yum.

L head out a little early and when I reach the church the nun asks me if I was planning on going to mass at the Vatican. That sounds great. I head off to the Vatican.

The guidebok routes me to the river than all the way to a park then back to the river than the Vatican. Sounds simple but I get so lost twice that I over shoot the end of the map twice.

I end up meeting two Portuguese flight attendants for Ryan air and they lead me back to my map boundary. I finally reach the Vatican but the offices are closed today.

I go to my hotel and then go out to a bar to celebrate with 3 gin and tonics. Tomorrow I will go to the testimonium office.

So many thoughts going through my head. I made it. Sleep. 

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Day 24 The Sheep

Day 24

June 24, 2017
Monterotondo To Monte Sacro
Statistics: steps= 31,303
Elevation climbed= 870 feet
Distance walked = 15.1. miles or 24.0 km.

I was under the impression that I would be walking in suburbia and urban Rome today, but that’s not the case. It’s rural wheat fields. Bone dry. And the hottest day so far in the Mid 90s. I am packing 3 liters but my thirst could drink half at a time.

A steep descent from Monterotondo.the houses end quickly and it’s dry wheat as far as the eye can see. Yikes!

The only sign is a piece of refuse wood with Francesco and an arrow scratched into the wood. And it’s in the ground. It’s like a no mans land.

Walk at least 5 kilometers in the open hot sun until the path has trees on each side. Cross a bridge and I check if the water is good for sitting in to cool off. Nope.

I keep tellIng myself one foot in front of the other. I see a large herd of sheep blocking the road ahead of me. There’s two gypsies doing shearing or something to the sheep. I motion to the big man if I should just walk through the herd. He motions yes. I walk through the herd and like Moses they grudgingly provide just enough room for me to pass. Behind me they close the gap.

As I walk away it occurs to me how remote I am. I hustle EWup the hill dragging my right leg. At the top I take my Parkinson’s medicines and walk fast.

The road continues on for another couple of kilometers then I see my first sidewalk and shortly thereafter my first gelateria. Yay!!

I walk to the B&B and they are full. The owner gives me a ride to the Santa Maria convento.

I sleep well.

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Day 23 Personal Best

Day 23  Personal Best
June 23, 2017
Monteleone Sabrino To Monterotondo
Statistics: steps=76,574
Elevation climbed=3060 feet
Distance walked =36.1 miles or 58.2 km

I leave at 5:00 am. I think the 2 Austrians are sleeping. The B&B is 5-6 km on the path. So today’s path is that much shorter. As I leave the town I come across my first Roman Amphitheater ruins.

Another hour or so and I reach Paggio Moiano another hilltop town. They are all charming. It’s hot at 930am. In the morning. By 11:00am I have already completed the day’s walk to Ponticello.

As I walk through the town, a shop lady waves me to her grocery store. She wants to sit and talk story. Sounds like fun to me. I buyx some soda and a croissant. I ask her if there’s any place to stay in this small town. She says the only place to stay is 15 km more. Wow it’s at least 92 degrees. Well better get going. The walk to Ponticello was mainly flat but after Ponticello, it’s rolling hills…very steep hills walking though olive groves. Every chance I buy more water or soda. By the end of the day I drink at least 12 liters.

The hills may be small but many are very steep. My shirt goes from bone dry to soaked many times through the day. I look for a stream to jump in or even a water fountain but they are junk either too shallow, too mossy green or too many bugs.

I finally reach the hotel a town 15 km and the manager looks at me and shakes her head left to right. To say not here… oh well time to move on.

The path continues to be up and down, up and down. I keep drinking all day. When I finally reach Monterotondo I am nearing the wall of exhaustion. On the way to the hotel, I buy some groceries. My pack is now loaded to the gills. Food is practically falling out.

I reach the B&B but they are full. The next hotel is another kilometer. When I reach the room, I take a shower with my clothes on. It seemed like a good idea. Wash me and my clothes. I fall out of the room  and eat at the hotels restaurant.

I did a personal best- 58.2 km. My triathlon coach (jeff s.) always said finish strong. Today, I did finish strong. I still have two days of waking but it feels great to have such a strong day after weeks of walking.

Best of all I feel really good the day after.  Tomorrow,  I will see Rome for the first time on this walk.

 

 

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Day 22 Monte who?

Day 22
Reiti To Monteleone Sabrino
June 22, 2017
Statistics: steps: 56,890 distance: 27.3 miles or 41.99 Km climbed:1,930

Countdown: 4 days and 87 Km to Rome

I guess those beers made me sleep well, I wake up late

at 5:15am which  is usually when I leave. On the way out of town I run into Margo and Corinne talking to two women. I discover they are both from Seattle. We walk for a kilometer or two. They walk a little slower so I walk ahead and quickly  lose sight of them.

Todays walk is suprisingly flat and fast.  My accommodations are a couple kilometers out of town. I see the turn off to Montenero which is a steep climb. It takes me an hour to reach Montenero. Which doesn’t seem right but I am here and the castle is pretty cool. I go to the alimentari which is also a bar and I have two gin and tonics. Nice thing about Italy is gin and tonics are $2.50. Eat some pizza.

I show the local I have been talking the address of my B&B and he says “that’s Monteleone, this is Montenero” Oh boy my dyslexia got the better of me. Monteleone is 15-20 km on the other side of the mountain I just climbed. And there’s no bus… time to start walking.

After another hour of walking I stop at another bar and have two more gin and tonics and sandwich. And walk another hour and half to another bar. No I didn’t drink more gin & tonics! I ask a local where this B&B is and he says he will give me a ride.

it takes about 10 minutes to reach the B&B. Lo and behold, two of the Austrians are staying there too!

I am pretty exhausted. I get an interviewed for a regional Facebook page with 6600 followers . I then go to sleep.

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