Last day in Bobbio. The sun is shining and the building is fairly quiet. But the elevator is starting to hum up and down; the heroes are emerging. I lie in bed calculating; yes, I have managed a full 8 hours sleep for the first time in who knows how long.
Spotty showers and heat problems continue, but this morning the showers are hot, and the heat is on--although we probably won't need it in another hour. Our peek-a-boo spring is sending some warm rays over the snow-covered mountains, which I check daily as part of my morning ritual. No new snow, just a rising mist, signaling mild temps.
Rendez-vous at 9: we will have a final cappuccino at Silvano's before three head out at 10. I join everyone in the lobby--including Marco our cook--and off we go, silent or joking, denying the angst of another round of goodbyes.
As we approach the main square, a baby donkey stumbles out from behind a building, skitters to a halt and stares at us. "Oooohhh...." some of us gasp, while others whip out their cameras. Marco rolls his eyes and shoos us on, but we have to stop again: mama donkey, papa donkey and a whole family of donkeys follow baby out, drawing chuckles from both us and the townspeople.
Silvano greets us, almost in tears. More photos. We bring our cappuccino and pastries out to the deck, while he snaps pictures of us. The moment goes by too quickly, the body antsy with leaving, the mind racing between all that is left to do, and all that has been done, and next things. Last minute gifts come to mind; the pasticerria is open--we can pick up some there, and still make the 10:00 am shuttle.
Once that group is tearfully waved off, I head for Torre Pellice, to browse the market (which I've only managed once in my time here), have my last gelato, and visit with Matt & Rose. Also on the agenda: a look at the murals painted at the Salvation Army by some of our visual artists.
The market is bustling. I bump into Silvano again--"What, you are stalking us?!"--and Lauren's family. Francesca walks by with friends. And then I am at the coffee shop to meet Matt & Rose. Matt takes me to see the murals, while Rose finishes shopping for lunch (pasta in a butter/sage sauce), served on their terrace. We meet Lanette for gelato; more goodbyes, then Lanette and I walk around town a bit, over to the bus stop. I have to get home and finish packing.
I leave Lanette at the bus stop, only to find Francesca on the bus! We are both exhausted from goodbyes, and have more to go this afternoon, when the next crew of heroes leave. Five of us will be left tonight at Forterocca.