September 8

Fab walk. Medieval town to medieval town.  Long hot day. New friend. Odd band of folk at hostel.

Got up a bit earlier than usual, partly because Vaclav is so noisy and in part due to it being the longest remaining stage. 32kms up to Radicofani. Plus I was warned that the final 8kms are very steep.

Left piles of food for the three cyclists. I later learned that the two women were seriously thinking of giving up, after their first day. Marco on the other hand was very grateful of the grub!

On the edge of town by 7am and surprisingly there are lots of cafes open. Don’t mind as I’d had a long leisurely breakfast. Made toast in a frying pan, camp style, which was pretty good with butter and jam. Just needed a poached egg this morning to make it complete!

The walk to the first town, Gallina a bit unpleasant, along the busy Via Cassia. I missed the spa town of Vignoni.

The pictures of it look amazing. Meet three Italians on the road: a couple, Vanessa and Giuliano plus Fabrizio. Fab and I walked together the rest of the day.

A quick stop for coffee and to buy a sarnie for later; the guy was so miserable, I’m sure he used yesterday’s bread.

Route goes off piste from here and the old gravel track becomes an abandoned asphalt road, which is easy to walk on despite the heat. Clouds are building quickly which is a worrying sign ie thunderstorms. Marco appears out of the blue on his bike but chooses to walk with us as he’s saddle sore. We stop at a long-abandoned crossroads to have third breakfast/early lunch. Next thing I know Marco has got his espresso machine on a camping gas stove.  Very good it was too!

 

V&G turn up and we soon break up into earlier formations. It’s now off road for a few hot kms on a pleasant walk. Cross an oddly coloured river and work out it’s from a nearby thermal spa. We were tempted to have a dip.

During the long hill climb up to Radicofani we share tales of walks and whether there might be something deeper to cammino type walka. We discuss at length the nature of God. Interesting and deep conversation which took us to the top of the hill.

On the way up we meet an English couple who had also started in Canterbury, back in May. I was aware of them as I’d heard mention of them many times. So now I know Nell and Luke.

Arrive before the hostel opening time so pop for a beer next door and were greeted by tonight’s volunteer, Guzmano. A really sweet guy. Lots of very interesting folk staying there.  Long chat with Laura plus L&N about the randomness of coincidence vs intention.

Dinner was due to be with V&G but when we got there there was no spare table so we decided to join existing tables of diners, Fab and I join the two women cyclists from yesterday, whilst V&G join a French couple they knew. It was fun seeing Martina and Elisabetta once more. It turns they work together in recycling furniture into a functional and artistic use.

Great evening but all my clothes are still soaked including my shirt and shorts. Not sure how I’ll manage tomorrow. I may just have to wear them damp! It’s 10.30 and a marching band has struck up, which along with Fab’s snoring is making it difficult to concentrate, let alone sleep!

 

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