Monday, June 18, 2012

Ponte D'Arbia to Quirico

That is Me on the Right...

You know its hot when I lose my appetite and you know its really hot when I don't want a beer. Ok, I still want a beer, but Holy Blazing Saddles it is hot! The Padri here at the Albergue in Quirico d'Orcia said it was 41 degrees yesterday and again today. I believe it... This morning we left the Albergue at a reasonable time around 5:30 am. To our surprise, the local bar was already open so we made the requisite coffee stop, relishing the opportunity for an early morning cappuccino and croissant.

The terrain was much like yesterday, rolling hills, vineyards and other kinds of crops such as clover and sunflowers. There seemed to be more opportunities for shade, and we made several stops under shady trees when they appeared. At one such place, Sylvia appeared and we all walked together for the rest of the way, more or less. There was a lot of road walking today, and as you know, the tarmac just sucks up,the heat of the sun and then radiates it back up through your shoes and into the air. My shoes felt like they were melting and the sweat was running off me in little streams. In order to cope with the discomfort of it, I turned on the iPod and cranked up the volume. Soon I was absorbed in music designed to get me moving and grooving, which it did. So, although we were all together, I was in my 'happy place' and unavailable for easy communication.

Sylvia, Miranda, Daniella, Gisella and Joel at a water stop

By 1300 we were all here in beautiful and ancient San Quirico, standing outside the Albergue. Gisella ( who is my hero) called the Padri on her mobile phone and asked him to please come and let us in. He had wanted us to wait until 1430, but she told him we were very hot and tired, so he relented and came and opened the door for us. Grazie Padri, but more importantly Grazie a Gisella! Not only does she call,all over on her phone for us, but she has become my photographer as well, sharing her camera and iamges with me for the last day and a half. The battery on my camera finally exhausted itself, and now the charger won't work! I am hoping to rectify this, but in the meantime I am very grateful for the wonderful Gisella for yet another reason! Anyhow, after a shower my appetite returned and after a wonderful lunch of salad, beer and chocolate torte, I was ready for a nap!

Well, not quite. Now it is too hot in the Albergue to sleep, so I have been wandering the streets of lovely San Quirico with my iPad looking for an unlocked Wifi. For a while I was sitting on the sidewalk outside a dress shop picking up someone's unlocked signal but then Gisella found an air conditioned Internet Cafe that also sells photo related things, so maybe I will be doubly lucky and find some sort of generic battery charger for the camera...

The Water Fountain get Dressed Up

As a sidebar, I undersntad that Paul MaCartney is in the area to celebrate his 70th birthday. I was kind of hoping he would pass by in his Ferrari, take pity on the poor pelligrini and invite us all back to the Villa for a glass of wine, but no luck,ther yet. In any case, Happy Birthday Paul and I guess you might have to rethink the lyrics to that song "When I'm 64"...

Joel's Sorbetto

Tomorrow, we have to walk 32 km, but in order to accomplish this without getting heatstroke we will have to be up and out the door at day break. Walking in the dark is an option, but only with a really good headlamp. Wouldn't want to step in a pothole or miss one of the segnales!

A final note is a word of thanks to Sergio who gave me one of his shopping bag cum backpacks before he returned home yesterday! It is the perfect bag for toting the iPod around. Cheers Sergio!


  1. Alleluya Miranda, you are my hero !
    Glad you all arrived to S.Quirico, one of my favourite spot in the valley.
    There you can go dining at Antico Forno trattoria, Roberto's place.
    You can be introduced as friend of mine, (Sergio the guide from Avellino) he owns Relais del Capitano as well.
    I'm reading your blog since I head back home yesterday.
    It was not easy leave all of you in Siena, I'd like to stay all the way on, untill Rome, because you all are important to me. Unless is not easy to walk in boiling air, n with some breeze I'd hope, neither walk along someone with it's ipod but great my bag is still profitable. I would know more about your many kms in the Camino del Northe, one of the best place I've walked on, and all the adventures you had on the military ship and so on !!
    I'll keep reading random pages of your old blogs, for sure !
    Now, please, take care of my friends Ettore e Daniela,shake five to Joel for me, and an eye above cherry Silvie,(telling her I'm not the so called italian pincher), ... otherwise she might get scaried. More over, I guess all of you buen camino and keep tight until the end ! Ultreya Sergio