I woke up around 7 am cold and with a serious need to pee. I left Tristan sleeping on the floor and ran over to the train station to go to the bathroom. Before leaving the station I fell asleep sitting upright in the waiting room for a few minutes while waiting for myself to warm up. At 7:20 I went over to wake up Tristan, and we went to a nearby cafe to get something to eat together. At 8:30, the laundromat opened up, and we changed into our pants and jackets and threw all of our stuff in the washing machine. As the stuff washed and dried, I slept sprawled out on the floor and Tristan slept sitting upright in a chair with his mouth open. When everything was done, we walked a few kilometers out of town, to the beach and then to a campground to take showers and have our last lunch together. Those things happened quickly, and around 2 pm I said goodbye to Tristan (who was heading back to Pisa on the train) and set off towards San Vincenzo on a forest path that lasted about 5 km before I had to get back on the Via Aurelia, which I will be on and off of until I get to Rome.
I when I got into town, I ran straight through to the other side to the COOP supermarket to get something to drink. After recuperating I walked down to the beach and spent the afternoon wading through crowds of people hoping for something to happen. When nothing really happened I went back into the center of town and started doing the same thing around the street market that lined the main street. Around 7 pm, while heading down to check out a pier, two girls about my age approached me and asked if I spoke English. I happened to speak English just fine. They were looking for something interesting do to (and so was I) so we went together to a bar that Paolo (Livorno) had recommended. They were Swiss, and I had run pretty close to where they lived, so we talked through drinks and then a quick dinner. They were camping nearby, and ended up running out in a panic to catch their bus back to the campground around 10 pm. So there I was, at 10 pm alone and with nowhere to sleep.
I went back to a shop that I had been with them earlier, and asked the guy if he had a suggestion for me. He had a friend who ran one of the nearby baths that I could probably take a shower at, but when I got there the people who were running the place told me that he was asleep. I spent the rest of the night (until after midnight) telling random people on the street my story and asking for a place to sleep. Eventually I bought a coke and sat down with some young people who were sitting outside of a bar. I explained what I was doing, and we talked for a long time. I heard many of the same propositions for public places where I could sleep, and was pretty sure that I would end up in one of them. When the night got late, and my eyes started drooping, Elena offered me a place to stay in a nearby town called Suvereto. We hung out around San Vincenzo for a while more, and then made the drive to Suvereto where her parents had already prepared a sofa bed for me. Divine.
14 August 2009