The restaurant was about 1.5km away and it seemed a good idea to walk. Would surely help make room for the food and give me a fighting chance against another uninvited pound or three:} I’d never walked this way before but Google Maps would ensure I stuck to the route. As I walked darkness fell and the two lads ahead of me became more focused in my mind. The road was very narrow. I began to think the taxi I had considered might have been a better option. One of the lads looked back. They seemed to slow down a little and, as I got nearer, they crossed to the other side of the road and stopped – for no apparent reason.
I kept going and passed them by. I didn’t look back but felt it likely they were now the ones following rather than being followed. The road suddenly seemed long and the 1.5km, though well eaten into at this stage, seemed more like a half marathon. The hills of Rome were having their moment!
I thought about it and felt if I’d known this was a potentially dangerous route I’d not have travelled. I thought how ignorance is bliss but the blissfulness was not uppermost in my mind just then. The narrowness of the road, the absence of lighting, the darkness of my clothes and the meeting cars only heightened my sense of isolation. Yet, the cars were a comfort. I thought their headlights were my strength – my companions on the way.
As I neared the restaurant I had to turn right so I chanced a quick look back. I was alone on the road. No men on the road – nobody behind me. I thought how foolish I’d been to let my imagination wander and smiled at the story I’d created in my mind – potentially scary and all as it was.
The others were in the restaurant before me. One of the men asked where I was staying and I told him. “How did you get here?” he asked. “I walked”, I replied. He went silent for a few seconds and said “You walked up the hill?” “Yes,” I said. “Oh, that can be a dangerous hill. I’d not have walked that way ….. it can be dangerous!” He used the word dangerous twice!
The meal was lovely and the company great. I shared a taxi on the way home!
The thought – if we know the road is dangerous we avoid it – not knowing doesn’t make it any less dangerous so “walking in the light” is possibly the key!