Thursday, June 5, 2014

Strove to Sienna June 4

                                                                        Current day.                  Trip to date

Distance walked- miles                                         19.4.                            291.2

Gross climb- feet                                                  1620.                          23,120

Song of the day:  Piggies by the Beatles

Have you seen the little piggies

Crawling in the dirt?

And for all the little piggies

Life is getting worse

Always having dirt to play around in

Over this past few days, we have enjoyed the dish "cinghiali" in several different form factors.  Cinghiali is wild boar.   Today when we checked into our hotel, I talked to the receptionist about this dish and she explained that this is a very complicated dish to make, let alone the procurement of wild boar itself.  The preparation process takes 3 days.  On the first day, the meat is soaked in wine to rid the meat of the smell and gaminess. It is then slow boiled in wine and water for an extended period of time to tenderize the meat. Only then is the meat ready for preparation in its final form factor.  We have greatly enjoyed this as a stand alone meat dish, as a part of a "sugo" sauce with papredelle or a sort of meat sauce with spaghetti.  All very good. 

Today when we were walking, I came upon some pigs on a farm.  These are not the wild boar (which truly are wild), but rather a special pig that is a Chinese pig, but with a special Sienna breeding which includes a single stripe:

We left the hotel at 7 am this  morning, hoping to get an early start on the day.  We knew we would have a long day under the best of circumstances.  As it rained last evening, it was very pleasant with fresh air and dew on the plants.   The first 3 miles went very well for us, and we made good time toward Sienna.  Then, we entered a rather poorly marked area in the forest and once again got lost.  The good news is, we,probably only lost 30-45 minutes today.  

After walking for a couple of days,we came upon 4 Italian guys, and walked with them for probably 3 or 4 hours.  Three of the guys were older, between 68 and 72 years old.  The forth guy, Gionni, was younger, around 50 or so.  Sergio, one of the older guys explained to me that one of them had major heart problems and another had a pacemaker, so they decided to bring their Doctor (Gionni) along in case anything went wrong!  Well, they were all in good shape and delightful guys to walk with.  Two of them spoke very good English, one spoke ok English, and the other spoke no English.  We were able to communicate very well with them.  Here is a picture of us with the three older Italian guys.  Dr Gionni took the photo for us:

As with the past few days, the walk was often through a forest, which made for relatively pleasant walking, particularly as the temperature warmed up throughout the day:

Along the way, we passed several castles and other old buildings:

This ended up,being a long day,with over 19 miles of total walking (including walking when lost and also,some minor touring around Sienna) and 1620 feet of climb.  The worst part of the climb was almost 400 feet of very steep climb coming into Sienna.  This quite a bit under any circumstance, but particularly cruel at the end of a long day of walking on a hot day!

Finally, we arrive at our hotel in Sienna around 3:30.  We have a very nice room, about 1 block from the il Campo in Sienna.  I will write more about this area tomorrow,but suffice into say that this is one of the most beautiful open areas in the world.  Truly a stunning place.   We then went to the laundry mat, about a block from our room.  Will be great to have truly clean clothes for the next few days.

Last night, we had dinner with our friends Masa (Japan), Christian (Grrmany) and Adria (Spain).  We have enjoyed walking with these guys the past few weeks.  Because we are staying in Sienna an extra day and they are going forward, it is quite possible that we will not see them again.  So, the evening was a bit of a going away dinner.

We are looking forward to touring around Sienna tomorrow.  It is a beautiful city with lots of interesting history.  It will also be good to have a day for our bodies to heal a bit 

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