The walk on Wednesday, day 3, was the toughest yet. Forget about place names and where we went as it’s better described. Besides, the place has an infinite number of potential walks through minute villages (3 or 4 houses, no cafe) along sheep or cattle tracks up into the hills.
The start: driven to a car park at a large hotel restaurant, along with the family of the agriturismo owners. Once there we all piled out. Well, except for the family and one group member with blisters and a new appreciation of her lack of fitness after day 1. (We have 8 in the group but only 7 can walk).
Short stretch up the road and then up a track. Again through bush, lightly coloured with the imminent arrival of autumn. Up, up, up. Then onto a narrower track. Yes, more up, up. Through wild blackberries, then raspberries. Those on the bushes were very small but ripe and sweet.
As we got higher those berries, and the unmentioned nettles, were supplanted by bilberries. Well, bilberry bushes as we found only 1 or 2 ripe bilberries, like very small blueberries. Later in the cafe part of the hotel at the start we discovered why there were none: all scooped up, packaged, and for sale in their fridge!
By the time we reached the low growing bilberry bushes, among the heather, we were right up on top of an extended ridge with narrow sheep tracks running along the side of it.
We followed those tracks, with not much up nor down towards the goal, a bare peak, the highest in Tuscany. One of the group needed more exercise so did the odd extra bit.
Well, I felt like a rest so, I stayed happily back with one of the group, letting the others proceed for last 30 minutes up and down the hill. Didn’t seem much point going to the barest and windiest bit as I now knew what it was going to be like. Anyhow, my erstwhile companion is the funniest person, full of stories of her various misfortunes, all related in the most amusing way. A very entertaining interlude.
The others returned, said we’d not missed anything (duh) and we all started the long climb down, down. Again, down the low vegetation, heather and bilberry covered mountain peaks then along a bush track.
And finally the hotel restaurant car park again. By then we were all in wet gear as it was raining heavily. I’m hoping to get the photo someone took of two of us looking like drowned rats as we arrived.
Knees and infirmities started to kick in on this last stretch. One was wearing two knee braces at the start of this day anyhow, another kept one knee straight going down and another suffered the after effects of too many grapes. Remember the grapes overhanging the single houses? Yes, they are nice to eat!
We all made it to the hotel restaurant and cafe lattes. They always taste better after a hard day.
Wednesday evening? Charades? No! We were late back and everyone was too tired 💕. I was so happy! A narrow escape but it can’t last as even then some suggested we could play. Aggghhhh.