Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Selvella to Proceno June 9

                                                                             Current Day.                        Trip to Date

Distance walked- miles.                                         13.3.                                       350

Gross climb - feet.                                                   655.                                    27968

Song of the Day:   Everybody get dangerous by Weezer

There must be A guardian angel 

Or some kind of destiny we have 

Cause we should have died

This turned out to be another one of those strange, wonderful and frustrating Via Francigina days.   When we woke this morning, it was already warm, even for the early hour.  After a fantastic breakfast at the Agriturismo Selvella, we took off for our hike to Procena.  Today was supposed to be almost 20 miles.   

Our first stop was the medieval village of Radicofani:

Next, we walked along a ridge in the beautiful southern Tuscany countryside.  This portion of the hike was largely downhill.  Southern Tuscany is much more rugged and isolated than central Tuscany where you have Sienna, San Gimingnano, etc.  There are very few vineyards here; most of the land is for grains, hay, etc.  

We stopped for a lite lunch at a cafe along the way after hiking 8 miles.  The cafe had free Internet, so we were able to catch up on our email from the past few days, and I was able to post the blog from yesterday.  We then continued on toward Procena.  This part of the hike was relatively flat, on a path alongside the highway.  The path then turned away from the highway, on a semi abandoned road.  The temperature continued to climb and it felt very hot.  

After another 4 miles of hiking, a man in a Mercedes station wagon pulls up alongside Linda.  Turns out it is Giuseppe, the owner of the agriturismo we stayed at last night.  He told Linda that he and his wife were concerned about us because of the hot temperatures and decided to send out a search party!  The thermometer in Giuseppe's car said it was 95 degrees F, so indeed it was a hot day.  He asked if we would like a ride to our destination Proceno!  How could we turn down an offer like that?  Glad we took the ride, because we still had 7 or 8 miles, and it turns out there is a very steep climb at the end that I had not anticipated.  By the way, here is a photo of Giuseppe from a stop we made at a water fountain on the way to the hotel:

Our hotel room in Proceno is a very nicely restored building from the 12th century (seems like I say this everyday).  Here is a photo of Linda in front of the fireplace in our room.  I don't think we will be using that fireplace today.....

We had a fantastic 5 course meal at our hotel last night.  Probably the best meal we have had on the trip. It was al fresco on the veranda at the hotel.  Here is a photo of Giuseppe who joined us for dinner:

Later, we joined several other guests from Germany and Italy for after dinner drinks and lively conversation.  The German guy told me that he and his wife visit Italy at least four times per year.  He said that Germans love Italians, but don't respect them.  On the other hand, he said Italians respect Germans, but don't love them!   Truly a memorable  and fun evening.  

We didn't  have such a 5 course meal tonight.  Turns out the hotel restaurant, and the other restaurant in town are all closed on Monday and Tuesday (nice coordination there....). There is a little grocery store that opened at 5 where went to buy hams, cheeses and melon.  We had a delightful dinner in our room, so all turned out ok.   

Today,  we have a very challenging hike to Bolsena, almost 20 miles.  The temps are forecasted to be even warmer than yesterday, which is concerning.  We may investigate other guardian angel opportunities such as bus or taxi to help out with a part of the hike.

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