Just a fantastic evening being wined and dined.
I had been corresponding with somebody who had walked part of the Via della Costa as we were doing, and they lived in Chiavari. Tonight we were having our evening meal provided by somebody who had also walked the same path we were currently completing and a former Pilgrim.
I'd been corresponding with Joanne (originally from Canada) about our walk, my walking business and had been invited for supper. At 6.30pm laden with our gifts of wine an apple cake we met Joanne in Piazza Manzini and were promptly taken back to her apartment. The evening was an absolute delight, with shoes off and coats hung up we were whisked into the kitchen and sat round the table and just talked about walking and life in general. Not only was she a translator but a flute player for a rock band.....And, it is such a small world that she had been born in Leeds - 15 miles from where I live and 20 miles from Claire.
Joanne had many tales to tell of meeting and walking with Pilgrims and their experiences, all of which were very familiar to Claire and I after our journey from Rome last year.
The night revolved around eating several bowls of home made hearty soup and fresh breads, a fresh walnut salad, followed by our own apple cake. All washed down with our red wine, which I think Claire was disappointed with because she couldn't find one for €10 or more and it wasn't a superiore. Joanna supplied a bottle of their own red wine from their small vineyard which made ours look like Aldi's own brand grape juice. I think we could have talked all night and probably might have, but Sue was visibly wilting with the lurgy so we drew the night to a close.
It's experiences like the one we had just received really demonstrate how nice some people can be. As total strangers we were made so welcome and I'm sure we left as friends. We hope to reciprocate when Joanne comes to England.