Thursday, July 06, 2006

Day 21 San Quirico to Abbadia San Salvatore. Thursday. 9.5km

Syl: Well taday was good news and bad news - which turned out to be good news after all. Let me explain. First the bad news. we didn't walk today - only 9.5km around Abbadia. The reason for this was a comedy of errors. Yesterday we bought bus tickets for the 7.20am bus from San q to Gallina - ablout 10km. one has to purchase the tickets at a shops or bar, not on the bus. We were all up with the sparrows and waiting for the bus by 705am. By 0800am we were still cursing the retardo bus system and resigned ourselves to walking. But, the next bus would be at 0900am and would get us to Gallina earlier that we could walk there. So, we sat on the pavement to wait. At 0930am we gave up and went to the Tourism Office, to ask about alternative transport to Abbadia. By now it was 1030am, a very helpful girl told us, that we had been waiting at the wrong bus stop!! The next bus was only at 1730pm and as a few of our group ended up feeling nauseous, our decision to get a taxi all the way to Abbadia, turned out to be a good one. We timed the journey from Gallina to Abbadia, it was 18minutes, it would have taken us 5 hours walking. So the bad news turned out for the best afterall.

Now for the good news. We finally got rid of Val's parcel which we have been nursing since before Sienna. She decided to post her fleece jacket and bathroom curtains (yes she bought curtains!) Post Restante to Roma. If you read our earlier post about my experience about doing the same thing you will know that it is something easier said than done. Well the woman in Sienna, was rude, unhelpful and quite aggresive when we told her that we didn't know the address of the Post Office in Rome. We tried again in Lucignano where they were more helpful but still no success. Finally we decided to phone Maria (Landlady in Rome) in Rome to get her street address so we could post the parcel to her appartment in Rome. Allora!! Success at last! I was so pleased for Val that I decided to post my sleeping bag and tray (yes, I bought a small hand painted tray) to myself as well. So tonight I am 1.167kg lighter. About tomorrow. The receptionist told us that Abbadia to Acquapendente is 40km. The topo map says 24km, the Guida says 31.4km, the lady at the information office said 35km and a couple in the clothing shop said between 28 and 30kms. So we are back to facing uncertain mileage and time on the road. We decided to get a bus, better luck this time to Val di Paglia about 8kms away. If it is between 30 and 40km, the longest we will have to walk is 22km - 32kms. We'll wait and see. Watch this space.

Marion: We ended up having an easy day to day. It felt rather strange to leave our backpacks at the hotel and walk into town with sandals. Whenever we stopped I kept looking to where my backpack and sticks were. As it was a leisure day, I pigged out at lunch time, even had some wine! This afternoon we found an internet cafe - we could only use one computer but we did manage to more or less catch up putting our notes on the blog. It is much cooler today, a few drops of rain. I am hoping the sun will be shining tomorrow.

Kathy: A strange day today! Really quite hard to write about events, except to say that I felt "out of sorts" so was quite pleased that it worked out the way it did and we had to arrive at our destination by "hired car" with driver. Interesting that "hired car and driver" is probably cheaper than a taxi! Other out of sort events today included cooler weather, some rain and about 4 public phones that I tried not actually working for some or another reason...roll on Friday.

Val: Very frustating day, sometimes we are forced to take transport in or out of the main town or City to avoid the highways, and toll roads, but still have to walk on roads. As we didn't walk today most of us were definitely "out of sorts". I felt like I imagine a Comrades runner must when he has to reduce his training just before the big day.

We finally managed to post my curtains today! It has been quite a mission, Sylvia accosted a "Postie" getting out of his van, to ask for the address in Rome, he was only able to give a phone number - which when phoned was an Italian version of Press 1 for postie, 2 for enquiries etc. and we couldn't understand a word.

Several post offices later we arrive at Monteroni D'Arabi - a small village. Sylvia and I go to the Post Office while the others have coffee. It is pension day and we spend the first 10 minutes in the wrong queue. They have a machine where you obtain a ticket and wait your turn - no queue hopping here. However, there is a choice of 4 buttons, 4 different tickets and 4 different queues. No one could explain the difference between thems to us. So...finally our number was up and here we go again. "I want to post a parcel to myself please"!. They really tried to help - so much so, that all eyes were on as the queue got longer and longer, by now people were having to stand outside. FInally the man behind us started to shout loudly at the lady serving us, and then banged on the window - I thought "boy is he angry" but he had the right to be. Then we realised he was telling her to phone for an ambulance because an ederly lady had collapsed. The Medics arrived within minutes and she was in good hands. We tood advantage of the distraction and crept out - still with the curtains. Finally we got the address from Maria and posted them!

FOOD: Lunch was in the only place open! San Marco. It turned out to be a lovely, homely place with Mama making us feel very welcome indeed. She had laid out a buffet (Cadauno) which included Polenta cake and "Polpettone" Meat loaf E6.50 A few of us had a bug and as this affected the food writer, shock and horror - she went to bed without supper!!


Anonymous said...

Hi Girls

I have so enjoyed reading your "diary". This trip will certainly be a life time memory. I can imagine the feelings you have had - all the emotions sometimes in one day.

Keep well, thinking of you and look forward to reading more of your escapades and seeing you when you get back.


Michelle Ramsay

Anonymous said...

Hi to the famous five

It is great to catch up on all your news. My internet connection has been giving me a few problems so I have not managed to send a message.
Joshua and David send their love to Bunny.
Enjoy your last few days.
We love you Bunny.
Lots of love from Greg, Kim, Joshua and David