…has been up and down, with a big up at the end, but another great day cycling. It seems I have finally got an idea of how to plan a route I can cope with. Volterra is just over half way to Siena, where I am heading, and I thought it would be about the right distance for today.
I think I had the best night’s sleep I have had yet, not waking at all till this morning. So I got up and packed up a bit earlier than usual. I was sad to leave the campsite because it was great, the best yet I think! Great pool, great shop with single portions of everything, really helpful staff. The morning ride was straight forward apart from a puncture, which was sorted quickly. I am glad I checked the tyre this time because there was a huge chunk of metal sticking through. The weather was very sunny, and starting to get hot.
I stopped for lunch a bit earlier than I have been, so as not to repeat last week’s mistake. I am glad I did, because about 5km after lunch the climb started! So far I had been weaving round the hills quite well, following a dry river bed. But this one was not moving, so up I began. Once again the weather was ideal because as I started the climb it clouded over and cooled. It did then rain a bit, but if anything it was quite pleasant! I was worried at one point that I would get a big downhill and then have to climb again as I saw the town I was heading for a fair way ahead! Thankfully the hills lead nicely into each other and the impressive town of Volterra got closer and closer.
The Tuscan landscape is now very dry. I imagine it is much more beautiful when there are plants! However the views from the town are very impressive. Volterra was used as a film set for the ‘New Moon’ vampire film, as the base of the bad vampires! I went on a walking tour, that turned out to be just me, so I know a bit about it now. It has four main ages. The Etrusian city dating from 6BC with walls from then! Then a smaller Roman city, then Medieval, then Renaissance. It is truly unique and impressive with varied styles of towers and buildings, a Roman amphitheatre, the oldest remaining arch (possibly in the world), all on top of a hill at about 590m. I am sorry that it starts to get dark at 830 because I would have like to look around a bit more.
I am sure standards of campsites is a very subjective thing. I have come to expect a pool, whereas in France a sit down toilet was a luxury (cycling legs don’t crouch easily.) To have a pool, though, and not open it because it rained this morning, puts this one right at the bottom of the list. (I’ll add a photo when I get wifi)