Sunday, June 1, 2014

San Miniato to Gambassi Terme June 1

                                                            Current Day                             Trip to Date

Distance walked- miles                            15.7                                        243.3

Gross climb- feet                                     1874.                                    18, 633

Song of the day:  Good Vibrations by the Beach Boys:

And the way the sunlight plays upon her hair
I hear the sound of a gentle word
I'm pickin' up good vibrations
She's giving me excitations
Good good good good vibrations 

Another Sunday morning, another early morning flea market outside our window, another set of church bells ringing at 5 am.  This also happened to us last Sunday in Filetto.  So much for sleeping in....unfortunately, they didn't start serving breakfast until 7:30, so we just sort hung around for a while until breakfast.  Which by the way, was delicious.  Here is the flea market outside our hotel:

After breakfast, we set out for the town of Gambessi Terme.  Unlike yesterday, we had  warm, sunny, blue sky conditions.  We had a walk along a mountain ridge line, allowing us beautiful views on both sides.  The Tuscan countryside is simply breathtaking:

Often times, are walk was through vineyards:

We also has a section where the trail was covered with lush vegetation:

After walking for an hour or so, we came upon our friends Christian from Germany and Masa from japan.  Masa is quite the character.  He is 73 years old, has lived all over the world (including 3 years in New York), and has walked the Camino in Spain 3 times.  He told us that he will be the first Japanese person to complete the Via Franigena.  And added: "and also the oldest."  Masa speaks 4 languages plus passable Italian. He told me a joke he learned when he lived in Brazil many years ago:  what do you call a person who speaks 3 languages.  "Trilingual."  What do you call a person who speaks 2 languages?  "Bilingual." What do you call a person who speaks one language? " an American!"

Linda and I with Masa:

At times during the walk, we had some rather extreme ups and downs, and Linda commented about the workout we were getting.  Masa told Linda "these are not real mountains, these are just vibrations."

I also wanted to post a picture for our fishing friends out there (that would be you Curt) from our walk yesterday.  We have never seen this type of fishing.  This was along a quiet river, and the fishermen had these long huge poles that they let sit on the water.  We watched them pull out several relatively small fish, perhaps 8 inches long:

We are staying at a very nice hotel in the village of Gambassi Terme.  Ironically, there has been this film and radio crew that we keep running into.  They stayed at the same hotel as us yesterday and are staying at the same one today.  They are making a documentary for Ialian public tv and radio on the via Franigena.  They seem to be from many countries, including Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria and Italy.  

Tomorrow, we have a relatively short 10 mile walk to one of our favorite places in Tuscany, San Gimignano. We are looking forward to seeing this place again, and will leave here early in the morning to allow plenty of time for touring around.

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