Lost tent poles, Stinging Nettles, Moon Kisses, bad Pizza, and a Reunion!

Here we are, spending the night in Trieste, Italy before we begin our trek tomorrow morning to the Via Alpina Red Trail which we will be hiking on until July 1 when we reach the Via Dinarica White Trail, and Stats. It’s been an interesting and stressful journey so far. Delayed red eye flights and sadness from leaving home made the first part a bit rough. I found myself consistently gazing out of the plane window into the moon and stars, my heart filling a little empty. I felt similar when beginning the PCT. It probably took me a good week on the trail for it to even kick in what I was actually doing. I think this is the same. Maybe it’s a coping mechanism. I’m not too sure. But our first flight dropped us at Keflavik airport in Iceland briefly before getting back on our flight to London. After standing in the slowest passport check line ever we finally escaped and went to grab our bags. I grabbed my pack happy to see it there, but after a moment realized my tent poles were missing. Then the freak out kind of began. Plus we were in a rush to catch a bus, so I felt a bit unorganized. I went to the baggage inquiries place and they just told me to go to a website and make a claim, but beforehand to check another belt which contains odd objects. I had high hopes the Universe would be looking out for me and I’d find them there. But it was a no go. We headed out to catch the bus, my attitude was shit, and I was feeling so stressed I couldn’t quite function on what to do. Because there was nothing that I could do. I hate being negative, sad, stressed, and I do all that I can to not live my life that way, so when I was feeling all of those things I got nervous. I’m with another person and I don’t want to impact her experience with my grumpiness. Our host Ralph picked us up from the bus station in a rad old ass jeep and brought us to our home for the next 2 nights. Jilly, our host, was there to greet us with hugs and a smile. They are all so kind. Actually everyone in England is so far, nothing but great experiences. Wiped after basically no sleep we had a super quick dinner before heading off to bed. My stomach felt weird, my heart felt weird, with an urge to cry I just went to sleep. The next morning didn’t start off any better than the night before. I tried to make multiple calls to the airline, the airports, and anyone who may be able to assist me. I couldn’t find documents I needed and the frustration continued to the point I asked if I should just go home because then I wouldn’t have to deal with it. Not that I actually want to, but I knew things would just go back to being easy if I did. I looked online, as well as Meg did, to try and find tents. But there were a couple of problems 1) the cost. The tent I had or any replacement I’d buy would be over $400. 2) I don’t know where to ship it if I did buy it. So after many moments of just saying fuck it I’ll sleep on the ground and just deal with the rain as it comes, followed by incessant research on the internet, emailing and calling companies, only to go back to saying fuck it again. But then Meg found a Sweet deal on a tent nearby. But it couldn’t be delivered until tomorrow, the day after we leave. So I was left short again. But I called the company and asked if they had anything near what I was looking for and luckily they did. So we biked into town following a map by Alphie, Ralph’s 17 year old son, which left us getting stung by a large amount of stinging nettles. All on our hands, legs, and feet. We crossed through green grass, under big trees, on dirt roads leading to beautiful properties, and along hedges and busy roads. And I saw many many feathers along the way, which always let me know I’m on my right path. We arrived to town and hopped on a bus to Harlow, about 1hr 15min, to get my tent. A tent that I’ve never seen, and only know it’s heavier than any tent I’d ever buy, but it’s not horrible and it’s on sale so it’ll do. It’s super beautiful here and even this stress couldn’t take it away. Vast green fields, clear blue skies, old homes and buildings, and cute little cars. It somehow seems different and at the same time like I’m in a similar place as usual. We find ourselves in Harlow and quickly retrieve my tent, definitely quite a bit heavier than I’m used to, and head right back. Dinner was prepared foods from the market, as the Pub lost electricity and wasn’t serving food, and shortly after back to bed. Not much of an exploration day, more like a you have to get shit done day, I guess we will leave the wild and actually fun not stressful explorations for another time. This night ended as I needed. I sat out in the middle of the field with all my crystals under the full moon and got to meditate. Which helped clear my head and heart quite a bit allowing me to get the few hours of sleep possible before waking up at 3:50am to head to the airport. I have legit slept better and this house than I ever have. Jilly was kind enough to wake up super early and take us to the airport. We grabbed our things and headed out, a block out I realized I forgot my water bottle and we had to go back. Which was no issue because the airport was insanely quick. And strange because at first we had to walk through an entire mall just to get to the gate. Where we then had to shuttle to the plane and we got to walk on the lot up the plane stairs. It definitely made me feel like a celebrity, it’s the little things. We had a super easy good flight and got through customs blazing fast with all of our gear accounted for. We then hopped on a bus to Venice where we were meeting Simon. It took just over an hour and when we got there we couldn’t find Simon. After searching for a bit and with no way to contact him, we headed to the train station to find some WiFi to be able to call him. We did and soon we were reunited with our Swedish friend! Venice is not my favorite place. I guess I just don’t get the romanticism of it. I enjoyed walking around the vortex and maze of the city and seeing The buildings which  were beautiful. And it was neat to walk down the narrow pathways and see everything. We went and had some pizza, and I can say I enjoy Tostinos pizza even more than what we got. I hope we just went to a bad place otherwise I’m definitely not impressed. I also realized at this point that I left my favorite crystal necklace in London. I wore it everyday on the PCT.  So apparently I’m just a head case and can’t keep anything organized at the moment. Ugh. 

After a few hours we decided to leave and get on the train for our 2 hour train ride to Trieste where we have an Airbnb to crash at for the night. The train was fun, I fell asleep mid conversation then woke up and couldn’t sit any longer. We have talked endlessly about our PCT memories and it’s been so nice to be around others who get it, who were there, and who don’t get annoyed by continuously talking about it. The Airbnb in Trieste is nice, now that we got toilet paper and the WiFi to work. We just went to the market to supply for the trek. I’m going weird this time and just bought bread, peanut butter, jelly, and chips. And I will be eating that and my Mammoth Bars and that’s it. BASIC! The fam decided to make some pasta, salad, and eggplant for dinner. Now we will probably pack and repack 20 times before leaving the house tomorrow to make sure we have all we need and reduce as much weight as possible. 

I am so ready to be on a trail. I think I’ve been doing so much Spiritual work lately I just don’t see things as I used to. I feel odd. Just nothing’s clicking and everything feels similar to home and not anything special. Hopefully that perspective changes soon, as I get into the Wild I feel it will. But for now…Gelato!


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