I had intended to leave Monghidoro around 9 am, but I slept like a rock in a comfortable bed...not waking up until after ten, and starting on my way towards Barberino after eleven. My clothes were still wet, my legs were tired and the pain in my shins seems to be lingering...so I walked for the first eight kilometers or so, crossing the border into Tuscany. The run was pretty hilly, and I was pretty wasted towards the end...but I got a good view of a beautiful lake while rounding a hill, so I knew I had a nice swim to look forward to.
When I got into Barberino, I walked the length of town trying to find the center...there didn't really seem to be one, so I stopped in the nearest cafe I found to grab something to drink. Dripping with sweat, I went to the bar and bought 2 Gatorades. I drank them both, and then drank one more. Once I had drank that, I asked the bartender to fill one of the bottles up with water. After I drank that, I had him fill up the bottle again. I seem to get pretty thirsty here, and somehow my stomach is able to expand to hold enormous amounts of liquid while my mouth remains dry.
I asked the man at the bar if he knew of the best way to get to the lake (a few km away) and he asked if I was going in a car. I told him my story, which was then subsequently told to another woman who was in the bar. After giving them the details of my website in exchange for directions to the nearest beach, Lisa informed me that it was her birthday that night, and that I should come back to the bar around 7:30 for some food and drinks. I said that I would do that, and headed towards the beach.
On the way to the lake, I stopped in a grocery store to get some cold pasta. Inside, there was a woman who worked for a milk company marketing cold chocolate milk. She started talking to me about the product, not knowing that I was sold on it before she even started talking. One more good thing about Tuscany: a local milk company that sells cold fresh chocolate milk in almost every store. Thanks Mukki.
I went to the beach and hung out by myself at the end of a long man made peninsula, napping under the sun in between rounds of swimming.
Around 7, I headed back into town, where I found an open running shop. I went in and talked to the guy about various running shoe models and about my trip, and left for the bar around 7:30.
Lisa announced me to everyone in the place, and the rest of the night was spent talking to a lot of the guests about the experiences that I've had on my trip. There was huge bowls of fresh fruit, pasta, and alcohol...so it was a pretty good find for me. Two of her friends, Simone and Akila offered me a place to stay at their house and before heading home we walked together to some ambulance volunteer festival that was going on in the town and got some fresh donuts.
At Simone and Akila's place, I took a shower and washed my stuff, and spent some time talking to them both about my past experiences and about the days ahead. Another lucky day, and some more new friends.
03 August 2009