Monday, June 18, 2012
Ponte D'Arbia to Quirico
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.
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...
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"...
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!