After stopping a few cars going by as well as a walker or two, we arrived at the building. After ringing the bell a monk arrived and showed us to our room. The room and linen is spotless. The rate is 33E each including dinner tonight and breakfast tomorrow. The camera dropped out if it's leather holder yesterday and I thought it was okay but looking closer last night, it has had it. It will turn on but won't take a picture. A piece or two is sticking out of the top. So much for C 's birthday present a couple of years ago. Now it is the iPad. It won't be as convenient and there is no flash but unless the scenery improves, there hasn't been a lot to take pictures of. We were going through a town today and got caught up in a very long church procession. The priest had a loud speaker and was singing and two long lines of parishioners were responding. We just joined into the procession as it wound through the town. Both of our boots have lost any goretex waterproofing they might have had. Now when we go through deep wet grass our boots are soaked right through. As I walk in the discomfort I imagine what I will say to the clerk at MEC when I take them back because they have not lived up to our expectations. He is going to ask just like he did last year, and what is wrong with them. I remember saying to him, don't ask. We just came back from touring this mountain top town with it's many medieval churches and towers. The views of the Tuscany rolling hills are absolutely stunning. I would have liked to climb up the tower but my legs said no. Communal dinner with the monks tonight.
Sunday, October 20, 2013
Walking with Angels. Altopascio to San Miniato
After a good rest that we both needed, we left Altopascio at 7:30am. It was starting to get light and we had our flashing lights on. It was overcast but no rain. We made our daily morning stop at the bake store for croissants etc. I usually buy six items, four of which we eat going down the road, the other two are part of our lunch basket of things. We are on a road for the first while and then on to forest tracks and trails. Being Sunday, the hunters are out in force with boom here and boom there. Up on the mountains they hunt deer I suppose and in the valley they hunt birds with their dogs. It was about 8 or 10 days ago when we were high in the mountains we saw a lot of wild boar sign. They dig up the dirt with their snouts and I am sure they would be hunted as well. After a long walk through deep wet grass along a dike we arrived in San Miniato Basso just in time for caffe americano latte and a couple of made up sandwiches at the bake shop. We were maintaining about a 4 kilometre an hour steady pace all day and now we just had to climb the three or so kilometres up to San Miniato which is perched on top of the mountain. We are staying at the Convento San Francesco beside the church.