Working in Tuscany, wk 3.
Trip Start Mar 06, 2009
11Trip End May 07, 2010
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Barbara had purchased us a lot of groceries to keep us fed until they return. She asked us what we wanted and Milli told her some fish fillets
We also had a crack at putting some dried beans into a mix of homemade salsa, sort of like baked beans
We were back from Pisa and everyone was happy to see us! We got a 'cheers' for being back at the farm at dinner that night, and the shy dog Marymoon, whose past must have involved beatings, now prances about happily when we are around.
The next day it was back to work though and we weeded the rose garden all the while my listening to both Hamish and Andy on a podcast, and Shane cursing and moaning. Luckily Barbara and Ugo didn't give us too much hard stuff to do while they are away (they included laying in hammocks as one item to achieve!), and they also said if we came back to Tuscany we could stay with them as friends!! We may wait until they have a toilet and hot water shower installed....
In the couple of days before they left on their next walking tour Barbara cooked (and I learnt) a simple but great Sicilian pasta dish - steam broccoli, mash it, add salt, pepper, olive oil
One afternoon we went on a walk to Castelmuzio (the second closest town to the farmhouse) and Ugo was eager to go....we later found out it was because he wanted to try out going different ways he hadn't been before...we found this out the hard way. The cats and dogs followed, the cats going quite a way but then stopping and admiring the wildflowers. The dogs pushed on excitedly with us. We walked basically across the valley instead of via the driveway. We walked up hills of planted beans, olive groves, forest with leaf carpets (at this point going with no path at all and getting lost for about 3 minutes - though the guys deny we were ever lost) and muddy tracks beside abandoned old buildings with no roof. We emerged at a residence that an American is in the process of buying, and finally out to the road perhaps halfway to the town. We were POOPED. Ugo was laughing at us as he is 70 years old....we felt quite unfit which is a shock to all who know us I'm sure.
We then had to keep walking along the road, Billy the older dog now regretting his choice to attend this journey. We saw a possibly even older Italian man riding his bike in lycra going back and forth which really made me mad
We celebrated finally getting to our favourite bar with a drink, and they gave us chips and herb crispy bread slices which made us all very happy pappys. They even let us bring the dogs into the bar and they lay in front of the fridge door which was convenient for anyone wanting a drink.
We had been asked by Barbara to bring back some shell type pasta but the Coop was closed (no rooster working the till) so we walked back. We learned about the couple of really bad homestay people who visited over the years (a greedy clueless American girl and a rude lazy guy who blew his nose in their nice cloth napkins!) and finally made it home. Biggest trek EVA. Ugo kindly gave us some of his homemade walnut liquor that night, which was really yummy! Ugo left and that evening there was a massive thunderstorm so all the animals stayed in our room until Barbara came home! Pets, not random deer and moles....
That night we awoke to hear a mouse eating and we saw the makeshift plastic bag bin moving
That morning we were alone minding the farmhouse and since then we have been working on and off, cooking and just hanging which has been nice. Some days have been rainy which means no work but I have tended to the fire in the house to keep us warm - it's a full time job sometimes! I'm becoming more expert as the days progress, I should get my girls scout patch any day now.
We have read lots from our books and travel guides - its good to have some time to get ready for Central and South America. Especially now we are hearing about the swine flu. Not good.
We are getting WELL over the toilet and shower situation, often skipping a shower when its shitty cold rainy weather (we tried the yokel bucket wash but it didn't gel so we only do the outdoor shower) and though we have attempted to co-ordinate our poops for when we are at bars after our semi-daily walks, this has not yielded positive results. Shane has had to change the toilet bucket once and that is one too many times I'm told
As Shane said we can't cook beans from their dried state - we suck to the Nth degree. Or masters even. For real, yo. Kind of embarrassing really (like the embarrassment I just felt when I read over the last paragraph..)
We also have been getting a little over pasta, though it pains me to admit it and I may need several years of counselling to deal with emitting that sentence. So Shane did excitedly pull out the 'fish' Barbara had got for us...only to find out it really was A SINGLE WHOLE FISH, and which we had real trouble dealing with. Am thinking of going totally vego and I know that is a sooky thing to say when I have to get down and gritty with it. Should have known if we are amongst little traditional towns - its not a freaking capital city so you fillet your own fish.
We did salvage some and had a great lunch with roast vegies but it did sober us. Despite me drinking a Duff beer (OH SO FREAKING COOL).
I worked on tying the vines in the vinyard today which was quite enjoyable and relaxing.
Our first attempt this week at walking to Castelmuzio ourselves resulted in our cracking it (no asthma puffer for Shane and my ankle was killing me - probably it thought we were going the longwinded way or something and was shying away from its responsibility to carry me) and we walked back down the 400 meters of driveway we had covered.
The second time we tried we were successful. But the Coop was closed - NO SIGNS FOR SUNDAY SO HOW WERE WE TO FREAKING KNOW.
Anyhoo, this week has been interesting and not bad...overall....but getting VERY excited about staying in places with toilets and hot showers, you know, mod cons.