Pre-Morning update (no…the lens cap is not on)
Morning came early at 5:45 am. Having a private room is nice when you can turn on lights and pack up without worrying about waking up others. A funny fact about our private room was we shared a wall with a bathroom. Our heads were against the shared wall and with only one bathroom on the floor with 16 other people, the toilet got flushed a lot! And we got to enjoy every flush throughout the night.
We were out the door within 30 minutes of waking which is an all time record for us on this trip. And it was truly pitch black outside. We were in the country with no street lights so our headlamps were put to use. Within 30 minutes, the sun caught up with us.
Breakfast consisted of coffee and pastries at a cafe in the village of Buonconvento. It is a medieval village that grew along with the Via Francigena. Walking up to the city you can still see the 14th century walls and we walked into the village through one of the 15 century gates which is still used today. Pretty cool.
Now that we were somewhat fueled up for the morning, we headed up the trail. And up is the appropriate word as we began climbing. The rewards are the views of the beautiful rolling Tuscan hills!
A plus are all the grapevines covering the slopes. This is big winery country. We passed our first winery around 8:30am
And then we even found a winery offering pilgrims a deal! But it was only 9:30am. Then this happened.
Caparzo Winery is quite the place. The entrance was lined with cypress trees and surrounded with the rolling hills covered with grapevines. It’s all very iconic. We were told that they have 50 employees so this is no small operation. The staff was very nice and chatted with us about our trip. Thanks guys for the sandwich and wine. Both were delish!
After our little treat we continued over rolling hills and eventually ran into Jill, Thomas and Thomas from Clearwater Florida. They were having a two week vacation in Tuscany and were just out having a walk but it was good to talk to some Americans. Apparently, (and all you back home know this) there is some manhunt going on and the media coverage is hyper crazy . Ah, the advantages of not being in touch with the media.
Next after getting some groceries we met Alex from Stuttgart Germany. He’d walked from Lake Constance near the Swiss border but crossed the Alps at a different location. He’s tent camping so has the freedom to stop where convenient. We may or may not see him again.
Finally we encountered two Italian pilgrims. I apologize but I didn’t write down their names. They are on a multi day walk and may be in the same HOTEL we are in tonight.
Wait…HOTEL??? But didn’t I mention that we were staying in a B&B? Well our lodging struggles continued today with a crazy but true twist. About 30min from our destination tonight we got a message from our B&B host. She was in the emergency room and obviously couldn’t host us tonight. She’d take the time however to find a room in a nearby hotel for an equivalent price. That was nice. It’s not in the best location (out of the quaint part of town), but acceptable.
Our evening ended with another grocery run while Allison took a quick nap. We followed that up with dinner at the hotel restaurant.
So that’s it for today folks. Tomorrow is a long day with no sources for resupply, so everything goes on my back. We have nuts, energy bars, croissants, cheese, and prosciutto for lunch. For breakfast yogurt drinks, one hard boiled egg each, veggie/fruit juice, and a sweet yogurt treat. We should be good.
Ok…one last spin around our day.