The unexpected sometimes can also be good…
If you have been following my pilgrimage, you’ll know I used to have an orange flag on the back of the bike, to improve visibility while riding on busy roads.
The strong winds on the way to Tergnier last week pulled the upper part of the pole with the flag straight out of the lower pole, so I ended up with 1/2 flag pole and no flag. People were even asking me what the thing coming out of the back of the bike was for and I had to explain how I lost the flag.
On Monday, the 15th of August, I was cycling towards Ivrea I when I stopped at a little makeshift road side kiosk, the type local producers put up to sell their produce. There was some really nice fruit there and I bought a few nectarines (the sweetest and juiciest).
They had a lot of little flags from EU countries lying around (No British flag anymore though) and even a few “just married” flags (don’t ask me why).
I asked if I could buy one and they gave me an Italian flag. He even fitted it so that it won’t fly out again.
As I left Pontremoli on Saurday, the 20th of August, some 6. – 7 Km later I stopped at a little place that sells fruit and veg, chose a few bananas, an apple and a nectarine. The owner thought I spoke Italian because of the flag in my bike in as I explained I was from England and was doing the Via Francigena from Canterbury, he would not accept my money anymore. The fruits were a gift from him.
I was riding my bicycle between Altopascio and San Miniato today and suddenly a car stopped in front of me and out came a gentleman and a child.
They offered me a cold bottle of Gatorade and water.
There are so many good people in this world.
Whoever you are, thank you very much. You made my day!