Just when everything is going right ... everywhere in Camaiore is full. We have negotiated the dizzy, seemingly endless height of Monteggiori, admired the view, found ourselves lost for words in exquisite St Lucia and dropped down into Camaiore via a far better route than last year's nightmare trudge with Lubie along the main highway. Now I want to find somewhere to stay and then give Lucy a big surprise by phoning and inviting her down for a drink in one of the local bars, but there is not a single room in a single inn and when, as a last resort, we cycle 5kms to Camaorie Lido even the camp site is full. So what now?
I am in utter despair and to make things worse I can't even get hold of Lucy to let her know that we are here and ask if, maybe, could we have a bed with Roberto (where she is working) one night earlier. At this point it is probably a good idea to explain our contact with Roberto and Camaiore. Last year we arrived here with Lubie exhausted, just as frustrated by finding nowhere to stay and worse still incapable of walking a step further up the hill we had found ourselves on, while following signs to a B&B called Casa del Sole. Then Roberto came round the corner on his scooter, arranged a place with Bruno (now also a close friend who we must visit) for Lubie and took us up to Casa del Sole (which he owns) in his car. An unforgettable experience, an unforgettable friend and now Lucy's employer for the summer.
So here we are again, in a mess as usual and with only the hostel in Pietrasanta available for accommodation. We cycle back along the coast road, ask a confused nun if we can stay another night and then meet two more pilgrims. This time they are French, much the same age as we are, but on foot. They tell us stories of how they were snowbound on the St Bernard Pass and we work out that they had been there just a few days after we had crossed over under bright sunshine - an unusual stroke of luck for us or perhaps a brief transfer of celestial wrath.
From this point on it is utter madness which does not add a great deal to the content of this blog. I eventually get hold of Lucy, we are told to get our backsides over to Camaiore where Roberto will pick us and the bikes up at the bottom of the hill - all of which happens, with the result that we stay 3 blissful, comfortable, heart-warming, inspiring and crazy days with Lucy, Roberto and an endless trail of friends and acquaintances who drop in out of Case del Sole as if they lived there - we love it.