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Cold wind cuts short papal bushwalk

Cold and wind forced the Holy Father to shorten his daily excursion in northern Italian alps on Tuesday.

In the morning, John Paul II walked for some time, often stopping to enjoy the scenery. After lunch he spent time reading, but the wind grew strong and the temperature dropped, obliging the papal party to return to Les Combes around 5:10 pm, earlier than anticipated.

Locals and tourists waiting for the Holy Father at a crossing were left disappointed. The previous day, about 40 people saw him at the same spot in the morning, and 500 were there for his return in the afternoon. Students from the Catholic University of Milan sang Polish songs and World Youth Day tunes for him.

Another day, the Holy Father took a ride in a chairlift, admiring the spectactular scenery before stopping at a chapel in the afternoon to pray.

The Pope's 12 day summer vacation ends today.