Through Vineyards and Olive Groves
Trip Start Apr 03, 2007
69Trip End Jun 16, 2007
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Breakfast at the B&B was similar to the last two mornings, but this time it included a fried egg and two kinds of meats. I headed out within plenty of time to catch the 8:45 AM bus to Volterra. On the way out of the B&B, who did I run into but the same Aussie couple from Brisbane that I met on my way here to San G. We talked for quite awhile at the bus stop, and noticed a blue hot air balloon float right over the town. What a view they must have had. Eventually, we all realized that it was well past 8:45, and neither my bus to Volterra or their bus to Siena had arrived. At 9:15, I gave up and decided to try a later bus instead
I spent about an hour trying to see if there was any wireless Internet available in San G. I managed to find an unencrypted hot spot, but because of all the stone buildings, the signal was so weak that the bandwidth was horrible and the connection would be lost every few minutes. After trying 3 different locations and getting the same results, I gave up on that and went to the Tourist Information to find out about hiking in the area. They had one suggested hike, which had directions and a decent map on a single page. The hike was 8 km (5 miles) and turned out to be a very good one. It started out just going along the main road, but after about 1/4 mile, it veered off on a dirt road, which went along a ridge with great views of the town of San G up on the hill. It passed through numerous vineyards and olive groves, and had all kinds of interesting brick Tuscan houses with red tile roofs. Along the way, I spotted a large snake (it warn't no garter snake), and I don't know how many small green lizards scurried out of my way (they're everywhere here).
I learned something about Italian rain clouds: the sun can be shining one minute, then a big gray cloud can pass overhead and suddenly start dumping water on you. Luckily, there were trees I could sit under for awhile and wait out the rain
After dark, I wandered around town some more. It's so nice then because the tourists all leave, and it's like going back in time - there's no cars within the town. I went through the gardens at the top of the hill, and there were great views of all the towers, lit up at night. Then I wandered down to the Medieval fountain. I noticed these flying creatures that looked very different from birds, and realized they were bats. The floodlight let me see them very clearly, constantly flapping their wings unlike birds, and occasionally swooping down instantly to snap up some bug. My ears could barely pick up the very faint ultrasonic chirps they make. They're amazing creatures.
My time here in San G is coming to a close, but it's been very restful (especially in the evenings). I'm really glad I went to Siena and Florence when I did. Volterra can wait until I come back again in the future (after all, gotta leave something to see for next time!)
Next stop: Rome!