For the first time tonight I’m feeling bit depressed 🙁 Well, not really depressed, just a mixture of feeling sorry for myself; all the bites that I have suffered and which are making me feel uncomfortable for much of the time, especially when I am not cycling and have nothing particular to focus my mind upon and which made me feel cold and shivery shortly after arriving at the campsite earlier this afternoon, and uncertainty as to the next few days; it seems a long way between here and Rome let alone here and Puglia and I’m not sure just how I’m going to organise the rest of the trip. Another thing has started to play on my mind, something that I have always dismissed as not relevant to cycling to Italy and that is, of course the journey back home to the UK. How? When? Which route?
On the positive side of things, I am here on Siena. The Rough Guide describes it as follows: “Siena is the perfect antidote to Florence, a unified, modern city at ease with its medieval aspect, ambience & traditions”. I bet the guide doesn’t say that about my home town Reading. I can see the Torre del Mangia from my pitch on the campsite (which is a couple of kilometres out of town). You can see it in the picture below looking very small; it looks a lot larger to me as I sit here in the dimming light of the evening. It is on one side of the Campo – the main square which, quoting from the guide book again is “the loveliest of all Italian squares”. So tomorrow morning when I visit the town, I have much to look forward to seeing. Basil & Richard both encourage me to stay to watch the Palio. Strictly speaking this isn’t possible simply because it takes place on Sunday. However, there are three days of activities before the event itself starting tomorrow. Again, from the Rough Guide, describing the events of August 13th: “The year’s horses are presented on the morning at the town hall and drawn by lot. At 7.15pm the first trial race is held in the Campo.”
I will certainly try and see something of the morning’s events although whether I have the time to spend a second night in Siena I’m not yet sure. Leaving the town around lunchtime would give me time to cycle to another campsite further down into the hillier parts of Tuscany, the picture-postcard Tuscany that I have yet to see; this afternoon’s cycle was a notch up on the morning which was quite urban but still not in the ‘wow’ category. Perhaps I am being too demanding!
And just to mention them for one more time, despite what you have read on the Internet Jim, the mosquitoes seem to be keeping themselves to themselves here on the campsite; I have seen one and it didn’t live to see another piece of my flesh!