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River Po boat crossing - solo?

2020 Camino Guides

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012)
CP(2015)
St Olavs Way Norway(2016)
88 Temples Japan(2017)
PWC & VF(2019)
Israel (2020)
Hi VF Pilgrims,
From March (2019), I'm walking the VF solo starting in London (Pilgrims Way to Canterbury) all the way to Rome. I've heard/read that amazing Danilo the Boatman is a bit reluctant to ferry solo pilgrims down the River Po due to fuel costs etc. Have any solo pilgrims had issues with the boat crossing?
I'm quite happy to walk around instead but particularly wanted to sign his register.
Thanks...& Ultreia! to all :)
 
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timr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
Hi VF Pilgrims,
From March (2019), I'm walking the VF solo starting in London (Pilgrims Way to Canterbury) all the way to Rome. I've heard/read that amazing Danielo the Boatman is a bit reluctant to ferry solo pilgrims down the River Po due to fuel costs etc. Have any solo pilgrims had issues with the boat crossing?
I'm quite happy to walk around instead but particularly wanted to sign his register.
Thanks...& Ultreia! to all :)
@kazrobbo
Greetings. I left Canterbury on April 1st last year and walked to Brindisi.
I am not sure about Danilo. The day I arrived (30th May) I had connected with three other people, and we travelled together. I think though he was heading back across after us to pick up a solo traveller. He is an accommodating fellow, though he may sound a bit brusque on the phone!! I imagine there would certainly have been solo travellers at that time of the year. He loves to talk and show his huge record book. I feel, though I cannot promise, he would find it hard to miss an audience, even of one. :) i just checked my trace and the crossing took 7 minutes. The amount of fuel cannot be very large!!
I'm sure you have thought of this but if you leave in March you will definitely be too soon to walk across the GSB pass. As I was, in the first week of May. I am just finishing a l-o-n-g post about GSB for the forum, explaining the options. But while the road is closed you essentially cannot pass safely unless you are an accomplished cross country skier. The pass will not be formally open until about first week of June. I will explain more in post.
Tim
 
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Carel5

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 Mozarabe: Almeria - Merida
2018 Francigena: GSB - Massa
(2019) Francigena: Massa - Roma
As far as I know Danilo does one crossing a day, at 9.00 a.m., regardless of the number of passengers.
 

timr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
As far as I know Danilo does one crossing a day, at 9.00 a.m., regardless of the number of passengers.
Yes, I got the impression the 9am crossing was 'definite.' But I think he could negotiate for later times.But It is not his full-time job! ;) Whatever you do, you need to ring him up. He lives on the far side of the river, so he has to come across to pick you up and he brings you back to his side.
There is a fabulous albergue/ostello in Orio Litta, 8km from the ferry but a very easy walk in the morning to get there by 9. The mayor will come to welcome you and he is very hospitable. It is very well equipped and modern, based on an old Benedictine grange and there is a wonderful bedroom in the tower, plus about 30 other beds downstairs. All facilities in the town. I had the entire building to myself.
And there is a very quaint lodging at Torre St Andrea next to the ferry embarkation site. But no other facilities there, though you can cook there.
 

Carel5

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 Mozarabe: Almeria - Merida
2018 Francigena: GSB - Massa
(2019) Francigena: Massa - Roma
Orio Litta's Mayor Pierluigi is a cyclist and also a great fan of the Via Francigena. Big chance that he will wave you off at the ferry in Torre San Andrea. By the way, it is only four klometers from Orio Litta to the ferry.
 

timr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
Orio Litta's Mayor Pierluigi is a cyclist and also a great fan of the Via Francigena. Big chance that he will wave you off at the ferry in Torre San Andrea. By the way, it is only four klometers from Orio Litta to the ferry.
@Carel5 You are absolutely right - 4 km :) I just checked and I remember now I rambled about 'a bit' because of a disagreement between the Sloways route and the waymarked route and I turned back at one point, not sure which one to trust. Both work and are in fact parallel to each other. AND, I remember now that I didn't turn off my watch when I got to St Andrea and met my friends for some more breakfast - they had stayed there. If I leave GPS on indoors it adds on quite a lot of random distance - and I can see that it was over 2km here, over half an hour or more!
 
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kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012)
CP(2015)
St Olavs Way Norway(2016)
88 Temples Japan(2017)
PWC & VF(2019)
Israel (2020)
@kazrobbo
Greetings. I left Canterbury on April 1st last year and walked to Brindisi.
I am not sure about Danilo. The day I arrived (30th May) I had connected with three other people, and we travelled together. I think though he was heading back across after us to pick up a solo traveller. He is an accommodating fellow, though he may sound a bit brusque on the phone!! I imagine there would certainly have been solo travellers at that time of the year. He loves to talk and show his huge record book. I feel, though I cannot promise, he would find it hard to miss an audience, even of one. :) i just checked my trace and the crossing took 7 minutes. The amount of fuel cannot be very large!!
I'm sure you have thought of this but if you leave in March you will definitely be too soon to walk across the GSB pass. As I was, in the first week of May. I am just finishing a l-o-n-g post about GSB for the forum, explaining the options. But while the road is closed you essentially cannot pass safely unless you are an accomplished cross country skier. The pass will not be formally open until about first week of June. I will explain more in post.
Tim
Thanks for the speedy response Tim. I'm hoping I'll be able to team-up with other pilgrims in the area for the crossing (to make it worth Danilo's while) but of course, I can't rely on that happening. All I can do is ask (actually I'll ask someone else to enquire on my behalf; my Italian is not up to that type of phone call...yet!) & go to Plan B if its not convenient.
Yes...very well aware GSB Pass will be a no-go for my anticipated time...I haven't factored in reaching the Pass even as a possibility so BStP to St Oyen bus schedule checked instead!
Thanks for your advice Tim, especially as my walk dates coincide with when you walked. I'll certainly look out for your other threads & forum contributions.
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012)
CP(2015)
St Olavs Way Norway(2016)
88 Temples Japan(2017)
PWC & VF(2019)
Israel (2020)
As far as I know Danilo does one crossing a day, at 9.00 a.m., regardless of the number of passengers.
Hi Carel5, Oh wow...that's excellent news! Thank you so much for the info...I will look into that further. If nothing else can be arranged, I'd have a bit of distance to cover to get there by 9am so that could be interesting...! 😁 Thanks again
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012)
CP(2015)
St Olavs Way Norway(2016)
88 Temples Japan(2017)
PWC & VF(2019)
Israel (2020)
Yes, I got the impression the 9am crossing was 'definite.' But I think he could negotiate for later times.But It is not his full-time job! ;) Whatever you do, you need to ring him up. He lives on the far side of the river, so he has to come across to pick you up and he brings you back to his side.
There is a fabulous albergue/ostello in Orio Litta, 8km from the ferry but a very easy walk in the morning to get there by 9. The mayor will come to welcome you and he is very hospitable. It is very well equipped and modern, based on an old Benedictine grange and there is a wonderful bedroom in the tower, plus about 30 other beds downstairs. All facilities in the town. I had the entire building to myself.
And there is a very quaint lodging at Torre St Andrea next to the ferry embarkation site. But no other facilities there, though you can cook there.
You are a wealth of information Tim! I was planning to stay near San Colombano al Lambro the night before the anticipated Po crossing involving approx 12km walk to reach the pick-up point; I'll look into your accom suggestions instead. Its all about trying to even out daily distances & as an Aussie with Schengen visa restrictions, there's not much time to dilly-dally! A later crossing would be better but at least 9am is a yet-to-be-confirmed option.
 

Harington

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Vézelay/Francés 2011, Primitivo 2012, VdlP 2013, Via Domitia 2014, Inglés 2015, Francigena 2016
Hi VF Pilgrims,
From March (2019), I'm walking the VF solo starting in London (Pilgrims Way to Canterbury) all the way to Rome. I've heard/read that amazing Danielo the Boatman is a bit reluctant to ferry solo pilgrims down the River Po due to fuel costs etc. Have any solo pilgrims had issues with the boat crossing?
I'm quite happy to walk around instead but particularly wanted to sign his register.
Thanks...& Ultreia! to all :)
Danilo will happily ferry a solo pilgrim, as long as you arrange it with him the day - or two days - beforehand. However, it's rare because he does ferry other people as well. I thought I'd be alone, but he was returning immediately to ferry 12 priests for Mass.
 

lovingkindness

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
.
Orio Litta's Mayor Pierluigi is a cyclist and also a great fan of the Via Francigena. Big chance that he will wave you off at the ferry in Torre San Andrea. By the way, it is only four klometers from Orio Litta to the ferry.
...Orio Litta's Mayor Pierluigi is also a musician! I asked if I might do some music practice in the pilgrim's albergue and he responded by organising a private tour of Villa Litta where, later, we played duets together in an elegant corner. Un bellissimo souvenir!

ps the River Po boat crossing wasn't operating the day I wished to use it (July 2013).
 
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kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012)
CP(2015)
St Olavs Way Norway(2016)
88 Temples Japan(2017)
PWC & VF(2019)
Israel (2020)
Danilo will happily ferry a solo pilgrim, as long as you arrange it with him the day - or two days - beforehand. However, it's rare because he does ferry other people as well. I thought I'd be alone, but he was returning immediately to ferry 12 priests for Mass.
Thanks Harington. I've been reading blogs/books & it seems most solo travellers end up crossing with others even if by coincidence. I haven't heard of anyone being refused passage, however there may be times when its just not possible. For me, the river crossing is one of those special VF experiences which I'm keen not to miss out on but as all walkers know, we often have to go with Plan B...or C..or D..! At least by having to arrange it prior, I'll know if its a go-er rather than just turning up at the pick-up point & taking pot luck. Happy trails.
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012)
CP(2015)
St Olavs Way Norway(2016)
88 Temples Japan(2017)
PWC & VF(2019)
Israel (2020)
...Orio Litta's Mayor Pierluigi is also a musician! I asked if I might do some music practice in the pilgrim's albergue and he responded by organising a private tour of Villa Litta where, later, we played duets together in an elegant corner. Un bellissimo souvenir!

ps the River Po boat crossing wasn't operating the day I wished to use it (July 2013).
What an amazing experience & wonderful memories for you Lovingkindness. Thanks for the PS...as I just replied to Harington..at least having to arrange the boat prior, I'll know if it can be done or not. Enjoy.
 

Harington

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Vézelay/Francés 2011, Primitivo 2012, VdlP 2013, Via Domitia 2014, Inglés 2015, Francigena 2016
What an amazing experience & wonderful memories for you Lovingkindness. Thanks for the PS...as I just replied to Harington..at least having to arrange the boat prior, I'll know if it can be done or not. Enjoy.
If you spend the previous night at the parish hostel in Santa Cristina e Bissone they will ring Danilo for you.
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012)
CP(2015)
St Olavs Way Norway(2016)
88 Temples Japan(2017)
PWC & VF(2019)
Israel (2020)
If you spend the previous night at the parish hostel in Santa Cristina e Bissone they will ring Danilo for you.
Another great tip...thanks! Always good to have options. 😊
 

caminka

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
see signature
Danilo will happily ferry a solo pilgrim, as long as you arrange it with him the day - or two days - beforehand. However, it's rare because he does ferry other people as well. I thought I'd be alone, but he was returning immediately to ferry 12 priests for Mass.
that answers my question of the afternoon crossing, thank you. it's a possibility! very cool.
 

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