Distance Walked- miles 13.1. 311.4
Gross climb- feet. 688. 24,523
Song of the day: The Rugged Road by Shawn Colvin
Still surveyin' the miles yet to run
On the long and lonely road to kingdom come
We left the hotel in Sienna at 7:15 this morning. We were a little uncertain about how far and how challenging our walk would be and wanted to get an early start on the day. Turns out the walk went much smoother than we had thought, and we ended up arriving at our hotel around 12:30.
For the past week or so, we have been walking with groups of people everyday. However, today, we didn't see a single hiker all day long. Very similar to the first 10 days of this hike. After hiking for two hours, we stopped for breakfast at a bar in a small town. We had our normal morning cappuccino, and decided to order a couple of pre-made tuna fish sandwiches on white bread. Man, were they good! So good that we ordered another one! Much of the walk was along small paved roads, but some was through the Tuscan countryside on gravel roads. For the past several days, most of our hike had been through forested, shady trails. Today,there was very little shade. It got reasonably warm by the time we arrived at the hotel at 12:30, probably around 80 degrees. It is supposed to be much warmer tomorrow.
Our hotel is in a beautifully restored medieval building, in a very small village. And I do mean very small. There might be 15 people living in this village. The hotel has a fantastic gourmet restaurant, and we had an excellent 3 course lunch. We then decided to return to the room and have a short nap. Just as I was entering the room, a woman emerged from the room next door, and it is one of the 5 Irish women that we had met 4 or 5 days ago! It is a small world indeed. So, we all agreed that we would have dinner together this evening. We had a terrific dinner in the hotel restaurant, and in good Irish fashion, had some very good wine to go with the food. They are a very fun group of women and we enjoyed their company. They will be leaving the trail tomorrow, so we won't see them again on this trip.
Before dinner, Linda and I went out and explored the village. We came upon a small church, but it was locked. A man then appeared and asked us (in Italian) if we would like to see the church. Definitely we said. So, he got his keys out and gave us the grand tour, including explaining all the paintings, sculptures, etc in the church. He was a very nice, helpful man and we appreciated the tour.
One fashion note: Linda pulled yet another new outfit out of that magic bag of hers this evening....as the Irish women said, she looks "lovely" (but with that wonderful Irish brogue).
We have about 170 miles to go to Rome. The next three days are particularly going to be challenging due to the length and climb involved, combined with very hot weather. The road to salvation is not easy!