Saturday, July 08, 2006

Day 23 Saturday, Acquapendente to Bolsena.

Marion: Today I was the group leader. I had a very easy shift as we had excellent markers all the way to Bolsena. This morning we were all up bright and early, it was quite dark outside as there was a thick blanket of mist so we all put on our flashing lights and started walking at 6am. It was very pleasnat walking in the mist and we were fortunate as most ofthe wy was on quite sand (dirt) roads through forests. From San Lorenzo we had the most magnificent views of Lake Bolsena. WE took lots of photo breaks. It was a most enjoyable walk.

Syl: Pilgrims in the mist! WE walked through an eerily quite Acquapendente at 6am. After 3km of road the VF signs directed us off the Cassia and onto a graded raod that meandered through woods and fields for anothe 7km or so. we stopped at San Lorenzo Nuovo for coffee and the soon after leaving the town we were back onto a dirt raod. By ow the mist had lifted and we walked through the protected Monte Rufero forests and woods. The area extends from 210m to 780m so we has a few short sharp climbs and declines. A brochure which we read at our hotel told us that over 122 species of reptiles mammals and amphibians and over 1200 plant species have been documented in these woods. Bolsena lake is the largest volcanic lake in Europe and was formed in the collapsed crater of a volcano. Franca, our B and B hostess told us that they had an earthquake the day before we arrived - from an eruption under the lake which rocked Bolsena and everything in the apartment. Scary!. When we found the B and B there was no response to our ringing of the the doorbell, so we walked further down the road and found ourselves a lovely restuarant where we all had lunch. Then back up the narrow busy lane to the B and B. Franca said that she had been expecting us the day before! but she and her daughter who was visiting from Rome made us feel most welcome. What a lovely family. WE settled in, went back and found an internet cafe and then walked down to the lake whre we decided to have supperin an restuarant overloking the lake. We watched the sun setting over San Lorenzo Nuovo where we had walked this morning. Today was a perfect VF walking day. It was cooler after yesterdays storm and as we walked on gravel and dirt paths almost all the way it meant that we could talk to one another, laughing at funny things instead of marching in single file ever watchful of the oncoming traffic. Even though the distance was over 22km instead of the 19 on the Topo, we arrived at lunchtime and had time to relax and sightsee. Reading the crytic clues for tomorrow we found that our distance from here to Viterbo will be 39km and not the 30 as planned. Our hotel is about 2km out of Viterbo so it makes it a very lond day. We will get a bus down the road again and walk the plus minus 22km instead.

Kathy: It is now 19h30, and we are sitting ON the lake ata arestaurant perched on stilts. The sun is still high in the sky and it is quite warm (strappy tops and shorts). We have been trying out local fish specialities which Val, our food critic, will tell you about later!

Rayna: One medieval village is beginning to look like another. Grey narrow streets. Splashes of colour on window boxws and doorways so ... today was a fantastic change. walked through the country side and the beautiful view of the Bolsena lake. Yeah.... today was good.

Val: 'Robbie' and I walked to Bolsena today. It was one of our more enjoyable walks as I was rather lost in my music, so it was a pleasnat surprize when I realised we had arraived. I've lost about 5cm on my stick so it is not as comfortable as before. Bolsena marked the 500km mark so we had an official photo shoot with the SA and Homenet flags taken by an English couple on holiday from Yorkshire. Quite a co-incidence... she was originally from a tiny village in the South called Crowthorne where I was born! Despite having to take some unplanned trips on public transport, we are ahead of our planned distance of 472km as the distance in th eGuide is often underestimated. Today was indeed a food day. Bolsena lake has an abundance of fish. The local fish is called 'Coregore', a white fish, usually served fillitted and for you 'when-we's' - it is just like Kariba Lake bream.

The local and famous wine is called Est! Est! Est! - the the story is that a King travelling through Italy would send his wine-taster ahead to sample the winw and he would have to sen back the message Est if it was worth buying.On this occassion, the wine-taster considered it so good he wrote Est Est Est. We tried a 'locale' one - just E3.50 for a bottle - and we agreed witht he wine taster - it was Excellent! Other prices for the wine vary from E5 - 11.

we took full advantage of the fish on offer, and at lunch we had the COREGORE ARROSSo - grilled lakefish E6.50, which was very good. As it was Sunday we had pud - Tiramiso - very rich but good. The waiter had relations in JHB and he gave us free coffee and a shooter each - he called it Limone - Limone with alcohol definately! Hesaid he made the best Cappuccino in Italy - it was like warm froth so we guess that is how it should be?!We decided whereever we had the opportunity to eat lunch we would either go without supper or only have a light salad - we would hopefully loose more weight that way.... BUT, - by the evening we couldn't resist the restaurant built on stilts over the lakje, surrounded by the black sand. We had a table ont he deck, watched the dicks and boats and got eaten alive by midges. Tea tree oil worked really well. Bearing in mind the earth-tremors the day before we probably didn't choose the safest place to et! W all wanted to try some more fish so we had FILLETTO DI BACCALA PASTELLATO - battered slat cod E6.20. KAthy said it was moist and just like Kingklip. Rayna had FILLETTE DE PERSICO - fillets of perchE7.80 also in batter. I had FITTORA MISTA DI CALAMARI E GAMBER - E7. The translation was 'Cryfishes and squashfry' - it was calamari , squid and 3 prawns which had not had the veins removed. I aslo ordered FLORIDIZUCCA ALLA ROMANA - pumpkin flowers Roman style - awful- the batter was thick , the flowers soggy and the stuffing was scraps of fish. The menu was translated into German and english - ie Portchops and Beffsteack!!On the way home we passed a group of runners warming up for a 10km challenge which started at 9pm through the town. We watched for a ehile, the Italians didn't even clap, so we clapped and cheered and the runners were very appreciateive, we shouted Bravo! Bravo!. Kathy wore her new strappy number with Italia written on the front which attracted lots of attention- now we sing to her - 'she's to sexy for her boots, she's too sexy for her boots!'

we tried to sleep but the noise in the sttreete was so loud so I went to bed with my Ipod and Il Diva Boys ...

Typed by Kathy on a small mezzanine level corner with no space... and no reader to help with the typing. (Sorry for speling errors etc)

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