The Via Francigena (‘the way through France’) is pilgrimage to Rome. People have been making pilgrimages to Rome since the fourth century. Rome is where I was born and brought up - it is a place that brings back so many happy memories and a wonderful carefree childhood.
I will be doing this pilgrimage with my 3 ponies, Pebbles Appaloosa, Samson Reg.WelshC and Captain Jack Sparrow Gypsy Cob. Pebbles has already kept me company on my last pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. Coming along for the experience will be a close friend who has also done the St James Way on horse back and my cousin with her son and friend.
This time we will join the pilgrimage route in Reims head down toward Chatillon sur Seine in Burgundy passing close by Chalons en Champagne, Brienne-le-Chateau,Bar-sur-Aube,Chateauvillain then follow the route to Langres. At Langres we will leave the official Via Francigena route it is unchartered waters but the rough outline is head towards Chalon-sur-Soane, Bourg-en-Bresse,Pont d’Air, St-Genix-sur-Guiers, Grenoble, Briancon, Col de Montgenerve, to rejoin the official Via Francigena at Torino (Italy) then Piacenza where route goes via Fidenza, Noceto, Forno di Taro, cassio, Pontremoli, Aulla, Sarzana, Carrara, Lucca, Altopascio, S.Miniato,Castelfiorentino, S.Giminiano, Abbadia-a-Isola, Siena, Aquapendente, Montefiascone, Rome.
The reason I chose 'Happy Days - Memories' as a title is because it was a saying/toast a dear friend always used to say when raising a glass. It is these memories however small that I treasure as the Dementia creeps on - robbing the dear person/friend from close family and friends. Dementia is like a thief; this disease sneaks into the brain and steals memories including those that allow us to do everyday tasks and ultimately the person we love. Since my Mothers passing away in 2006 we as a family have experienced the harrowing condition of dementia again. The pain, sadness, loss never gets easier.
This pilgrimage is to raise funds to support and care for family/friends who become carers for those with Dementia. One of the biggest misunderstandings with dementia care is assuming that everyone will experience the same things in the same way. Dementia is unique to the individual and will vary its pathway depending on their life history and where the physical damage is located.