A few months ago I posted that I had begun a virtual challenge – within my own timeframe and my own personally acceptable modes of trekking – to trek the St Francis Way. I chose it because the 503 kms seemed like a distance I could eventually complete this year regardless of occasional setbacks from a complaining body. When I chose this route I had no idea that the St Francis Way is actually the St Francis Pilgrimage, similar to the Camino de Santiago in Spain (or Way of St James). This route follows the one taken by St Francis of Assisi 800 long years ago.
A number of people have asked what it’s like, so I thought I’d give you a bird’s eye view. I’ve now covered 27% of the route, according to the handy-dandy app provided by Conqueror Challenge. This is what my path looks like at the moment. My companion in the map below, PC, is my brother Phil. I’m waiting for him to pass me any day!
The app also provides a Google street view of where you are at any time. At the moment I’m just about to come into Santa Fiora and then Sansepolcro. In the meantime, I find myself in a flat agricultural area, as my current street view shows.
So far I’ve come through Florence, then rambled through the slowly rising and undulating Tuscan countryside before reaching a long stretch of surprisingly heavily treed, steep terrain.
Starting point in Florence.
The beautiful Tuscan landscapes to date.
As I said, I’m temporarily on flat terrain, but that’s not likely to last. There are many, many amazing places to see, people to meet, history to learn, great food to eat, and changes in elevation to experience before eventually reaching Rome.
OK, I know, I’m only doing this virtually. Yes, the food is really my own, the people are those in my bubble, and the elevations are ones I’m pretty darn used to However, the virtual challenge and the fun app definitely add a bit of spice to the mix. And there’s always history and geography to learn about, whether you’re visiting physically or virtually. And as we all know, virtual visits are much more feasible at the moment!
These are a few of the views ahead to keep me excited.
This is my very next stop, Santa Fiora.
Assisi, with its St Francis of Assisi Basilica, is at about the halfway point.
And Greccio is closing in on Rome.
If any of you think you might enjoy trying one of these challenges, they come in distances from quite short to extremely long. There are challenges all over the world, and can be done by walking, biking, indoor machines, running, wheelchair travels, whatever combination you decide on for your challenge. You can check them out at Conqueror Challenge Events.