( or Drystone Walling and the Dolomites )

Under Police Guard

Day 4. 24 June 2006

Saturday. A slightly sleepless night last night – humidity was overpowering and I was woken early by the sound of pigeons on the balcony opposite my window, and of refuge collectors on the canal below. I take my last breakfast in Locanda Silva before returning to my room to pack my bags, repacking it for a bus journey rather airport check-in, leaving my hiking boots ready for a quick change later. Then I head out into the still-cool-in-the-shade but already-baking-hot-in-the-sun early morning.

Making directly for the Rialto bridge I stock up on cherries and walk through the fish market once again. Back up onto the Rialto, and I am just looking at some leather bound sketch/note books, hand-made upstairs, when I receive a text message from Sarah. She is 10–15 minutes away from San Marco and apparently wearing a pink top and ‘the only person in Venice with walking boots on’.

As I approach the waterfront and the bus stop, I see someone who I think might be here, but it is a few minutes before I decide to approach. When I do, it is Sarah.

We stand in the shade of a pine tree watching the boats go by, and eeating cherries, dropping the stones into the lagoon. After a while we get a message from Jenny – she will be across the lagoon at about 1pm. We wander back through the town, via Fressaria, to the Rialto and I show Sarah the fruit and fish market, before we settle down in the shade of the old orange market to talk some more and eat cherries, flicking the stones into the Grand Canal…

(