Day 52 – Robbio to Mortara – 18.5kms

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Last night in Robbio we stayed here at the small Pilgrims accommodation, with sleeping set up for 4 people at the rear of the Municipal offices. It was very basic but all that was really needed- offering shelter from the weather, a bed, a bathroom and a basic kitchen. We were the only Pilgrims there last night so also enjoyed some private space.

On arrival in Robbio we were helped to find Luijania by a local who was in the process of having her hair dyed red! Everyone in the hair salon came out on the street, hair in various stages of cut, colour or perming, they all wanted to help!

There was much gesticulation and loud Italian commands to sit and wait at the bar for Luijania to return from a nearby town to show us where their town’s pilgrim accommodation was located. Eventually Luijania met us and drove us around showing us the restaurants, bars and supermarkets and how to access and use the municipal accommodation where our refuge was located.

We enjoyed a great night there with the locals and felt a certain reluctance to leave this Morning for Mortara.

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We stopped by the very simple but beautiful local church before leaving the town.

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This rose is ‘Aunty Al’s’ Floribunda rose. She had it growing in her garden at Erskinville. Aunty Rita struck one for her garden at Kurnell and gave one to Mum. Mum didn’t want to have it in a pot forever on her patio at Kogarah so gave it to me. I planted it in our front garden in Campbell, ACT and here it blooms beautifully year after year! And so Aunty Al’s memory through this lovely rose lives on!!!!

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It rained most of the day. We took shelter in this small roadside chapel and enjoyed our humble lunch of Italian bread with Gorgonzola cheese. We left our pilgrim comments in the chapels comments book ie name, country, blog address etc. Seems many have sheltered here before us!!! Some from Australia too.

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After arriving in Mortara our new challenge was to find the pilgrim accommodation. It was situated about 2-3 kms outside town at an old church and former Abbey site. The refuge was just like the ones on the Camino de Santiago – the beds were fold up camp stretchers, dining, socializing and sleeping all happened in the same room- the bathroom facilities were separated and good !!!

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There were 5 of us that spent the night together, a German, a Frenchman and a Spaniard. The Spaniard was fluent in both French and English, the German managed English but the Frenchman and us Australians were limited to our mother tongues. We all enjoyed the ample dinner and breakfast that Franca, our host, prepared for us.

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In the grounds of our accommodation was this sign in Italian which we could not decipher. Love to know what it says!!!

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