Finally Heading To The Races – First Stop Toscana

Even though Siena isn’t very far we still left at a decent time in the morning.  We wanted to see the race on one of the ‘white roads’ so headed for the area southeast of the city.  The journey there was thru some very beautiful countryside.

BCDBBD1B-35EE-4B83-A378-92F524265B62We followed two sections of the white roads and decided to go back on race day to partway along the longest section, which starts just outside the town of Asciano.  

ED700D77-FD78-4928-90EF-73DBD4101ACF6AC6020F-E786-48DE-958C-F69D7BD1256BHaving a general idea of where we were going to watch from we went back to the town to a park-for-the-night site and settled for the evening.

96916B35-4484-4218-B690-41228C09C8ABThe next morning we walked around the town a bit, and had a very nice cappuccino at an outdoor cafe.  

61B5A40A-37E6-44AE-81DD-7B3670C42DF3On the way Colin pointed out a building the had lots of windows – but some of them weren’t real, just painted on!

CD2724A8-BBEB-414F-8424-CA4A55494A289DB0E86D-0D3B-4E2D-B230-1A359380B60AF6A10705-01A1-4980-8290-2FAED67DFB6055C508C4-4872-47C6-8F5D-56C0EF2B65CDIt was a very hot day – I tried to have a nap in the afternoon since my energy was so sapped but only managed to doze a bit. 

CFC419A5-FB6B-4987-9BF1-BF05F845EDF9C6E433AF-FD48-4083-BDA0-F73BA1075C01We went back into the town in the evening and had dinner – I had the ‘pork plate’ that was five or six different kinds of pork meat, all of which was just delicious.

818DA1DE-BA12-4B22-A957-46A57D6114E1I did have a bit of assistance from Mo, but managed to do a pretty good job of it.72C80DAA-BD9D-496E-A54A-05E14015889FA46A6DE5-4565-4899-A526-1B1CC2CD0952

 

Pork Roast Night, and Other Stuff

69C12D3B-F2A5-491D-AE97-D04BF88C60CDOn Saturday night Antonio had a special dinner down at the bar, and we were asked days before if we’d like to attend.  Tables were set up outside all along the street and dozens of people attended

C52877FA-AAA0-47F9-A299-5456090BA9F1We sat at a table with John and Janet, the brits we’d met first a few months ago.  They’ve owned their house here for seven years now and know many of the locals – they also speak fluent italian, and are very friendly and welcoming to us.  Also at our table were Aldo and Mario who each have houses near J&J across the ‘valley’ from us.

57584ED3-6278-45FE-BA4A-F48EC87FFE6EThe dinner was roast pork, which came whole – minus the bones, but including the head.

FBBF12F4-6504-43A1-90F9-CE24829B4951It was a lovely evening – lots of families, live music, good conversation, and the star of the night, the pork, which was just delicious.

78491484-B020-49CB-979E-1C32189235597C8B7913-FA57-4B2A-B985-3ABF5DF8566030E72FB6-1120-4CF5-AB1B-9F8750DF8423FEC918F5-53D9-4D2F-882D-84A6E4345F41CC39967C-3C43-4A5C-A104-E6A595701B8AIt was a lovely evening all around – I hope there’s another one someday.

A82EDE8F-3EE6-4016-8AEB-61BC93EED3EA984FDD6B-8306-472B-B4CB-D0385490EACB934F7DAF-B8B4-4246-BE48-1919406FF3E9The geese across from us are getting bigger – there must be a ‘head goose’ as they always move in a bunch.  If you see one, you know the others are all nearby.

4CE04DE7-18B8-443C-B7D5-24E2214B3505One day we were sitting having our morning cappuccino at the bar when a family went by on a vespa – no one wearing a helmet, even the child.

C5E64588-404B-4A64-A616-F1AD7FAB5E48The local fellows have done more work on the previously overgrown land below us – it’s completely cleared and flattened, and we’re a bit curious what’s going to be done with it.

E0886957-C40F-449E-ADB7-831F7BF552B7We had a load of firewood delivered by a friend of Antonio’s, and it took us three days to move it all one wheelbarrow at a time from the parking area below us, up the steps and piled neatly in the storage area off the terrace.

9AACE9BD-D9D3-4EBB-96D8-131D022150C1We could only manage an hour or so at a time because of the heat, and luckily Angelo helped as well.

E7613862-30F2-489A-B80E-69B34C1C4AE4C8AF1AD8-8F6D-4AAC-944E-B9FC5C07449BI’ve had a couple of really nice rides, but the exciting thing is that we’re leaving tomorrow to see our first race of the season – Strade Bianche!  It was the one I came over for so long ago, and was cancelled/delayed the day after I arrived.  After that it’s up north for two more – fingers crossed.
68798B07-D60E-4C67-9797-5D95628B9A18AB471684-71F0-47DA-8C8E-20494251E644

Tortoises and The Arch Chapel

EE141ABB-73C1-4ACA-9CE3-4F65227CE5B2A few days ago we were heading home from our morning cappuccino in the bar when we stopped to look into the garden at the end of the post office building.  The fellow had been clearing the place up and we peered over the stone wall to see what progress had been made.

It’s coming along nicely – a lot of weeds and junk have been removed, and tomatoes have been planted all along the far wall.

3273B219-AE57-4D66-A918-33995F40FF2BSuddenly we saw a movement, albeit a slow one- it was a tortoise!  A couple of days later we stopped again, and saw that there were two of them.  Then the next day the owner of the garden was there and Colin started chatting with him.  The slightly larger tortoise is female, and is 50 years old (!) and the other one is the male and is 30.

90AB9213-8E76-43EA-A5C4-C7DCDFFEB3ACThere are also a bunch of little ones of various ages – he rounded up three of them to show us, each a year apart in age.  He’s got a nice little fence to protect his tomato plants – apparently they are a favourite snack

54840355-669D-400C-AD37-7F7289E323BBAnother day we were walking down to the bar and when we were descending the 78 steps under the arch we saw that a few of the local fellows were doing some more work, both outside and inside.

EF9FE71B-6BB3-452B-9783-1BB7950F4898We chatted for a bit, then one of them took me inside to show me the little chapel that’s right above the arch.

C43CBE60-D6E6-41E2-8624-B54497B10BE2I also got a better view of the painting under the arch – he indicated that it was six hundred years old!

74918728-F728-4377-82D6-24CECECDB694I went for a very nice ride one morning before it got too hot – the sunflowers are out and many of the fields have been cut, bailed and re-ploughed for a second planting.

9A44990F-3BF1-4F8F-8655-FA9CE1AD3B14F46950A5-EB4E-40AC-B189-AD4420B402CDWe went out one night to try to catch sight, and maybe some photos of the comet, but even though we knew where to look for it we didn’t get a glimpse.

0EF416D9-017B-4FC5-AF89-03CD74F8854DEDAD4539-69FA-40CC-B82F-A6B95804B334However the hundreds of fireflies flitting around in the bushes along the walk back home made up for it.E9C6A23A-E7D3-4601-B75E-6EFACAB78A11

 

Home to Papiano via Lago di Piediluco

Leaving Lago di Campotosto was a bit sad, but knowing we’ll be back in Papiano in a couple of days made up for it.

Once again we took our time and enjoyed the ‘scenic’ route – to be honest all routes in this area are scenic, but we weren’t in a hurry.  

9FACBD66-D6F1-4722-8AAF-E9656977529BWe started out by taking the road up behind the village of Mascioni – the one I’d seen the horses on the day before.  No horses this time, but it did wind up, around and down until you could see another part of the lake.

CDC29843-0AFD-4B38-8184-EF122D44A9926D088376-49C6-4F1B-BE82-A40DA1DD77FAWe turned the other direction, however, and wound our way generally west, through the town of Montereale, then further on to a more main road.  

3BB7E2B6-3141-4943-ACC1-72B6DF81842EAfter a bit we stopped for a cappuccino and a quick bite to eat in the town of Terme di Cotilia.  As soon as I got out of the campervan I said ‘I don’t like it here – it stinks’, and we realized we’d parked right outside the hot springs and it smells like sulphur/rotten eggs.

We eventually passed Rieti and got onto another ‘scenic’ road towards Terni, having missed what should have been our exit.  We found the village of Piediluco on the lake of the same name, and drove all the way thru it before locating the campground.  Although very near the lake there is, unfortunately, no access to it from the campground.

C9661542-A8CE-4442-B7F8-6102A18558B3In the morning the light was excellent – mist rising and birds chirping – very lovely and quiet.  

E9A5FAFA-6D08-45E2-AB8E-35B08432F5F2I walked around a bit and saw a cat, then a little further a couple more.  I thought – oh, there are three, no – four.

BDB161CE-21DF-4583-81F4-0BD273A6E2E9In the end I counted seven fairly young ones all at the far end of the campground – it looked like more of a permanent place rather than a short-term one.

A14ACEBC-9938-4493-B2E5-E7094735DA25On our way again we had a fairly easy drive home to Papiano, stopping in Marsciano for groceries along the way.  As we passed through the village we stopped at the bar for a drink before even going up to the house.  Our welcome by Antonio and some of the ‘regulars’ was so warm and friendly – almost as if we’re ‘home’!

The next morning I was using my ipad and unknowingly hit the camera icon – this is the photo I got!  And I am not kidding – I cropped the top and left side a bit, but the accidental photo is real.

FA80FF43-9070-4F32-9A54-B1C1E9585116So appropriate – Italy and sunglasses – such is my life right now….sigh!