Bella Italia - June 19th 2010
The 8th day - and we 'do' Siena and then onto Cortona.
This is the van that collected our luggage each time we moved on - and delivered to our next hotel. Franco the driver appeared rather surly at first sight, but turned out to be a charming and helpful man.
We were due to meet up with the Scooter Club of Siena. Doug rode off with Jess and Patrick doing their own thing, so Al now tail-gunned and I led. We arrived at the appointed place 'Porta Camollia' bang on time to be greeted by the Siena Club and some magnificent vintage machines. Their clubhouse was a few steps away, and had some super pictures and trophies (and a loo). I wasn't in much of a 'photo' mood that day, just drinking it all in. I might snaffle some other guy's photos later and add them.
One of the receiving party was in the Police, and his Dad (or was it Uncle?) was the local chief, so we were allowed to invent our own very convenient parking spot. Frederico, who lived within the walled city, took us on a fascinating tour, leaving us at 12:30 for lunch. We were to meet him in the main Piazza at 14:00 or back at the bikes by 14:15.
It rained a few short sharp showers during lunch, but we were well sheltered:
Because of the rain it was evident Frederico wouldn't meet us in time at the Piazza, so we set off back for the bikes - a short 5 minute walk, signposted from right where we were. Some others had set off beforehand, but when we got back to the bikes they were nowhere to be seen. Hal, Kristin, Gary and Edna were AWOL.
We waited for half-an-hour or so, but then we decided Al should take the rest on to Cortona, and I'd wait for the laggards. They turned up about ten minutes later. It turned out the wise Hal had indeed got a clue as to the right direction, but the others had talked him out of it. Gary and Edna wished to do their own thing, and Hal joined them, so yet again it was just the Hornet and the Liberty keeping company.
Some gorgeous roads again, but then it seemed wise to avoid a more built-up route, and we were on a dual carriageway. After a few kms it was obvious the Liberty wasn't happy about something, so I pulled over, and got a resounding gloved slap on the head for my trouble.
"Don't ever take me on the autostrada again!". OK, so it wasn't an autostrada, but you couldn't tell by the speeds some Italians were driving at, and I think Kristin felt a bit vulnerable. Suitably chastised, and vowing never to do that again, I pulled over at the next petrol station to check on fuel and bladders, then off the main road and through some rather tedious towny bits. But we were soon back on country tracks - and I nearly got a second slap after stopping quite quickly to check and make a rather hidden left turn. Someone had been taking in the scenery... ;)
Cortona can just be seen in the distance:
The view as we climbed up the hill:
Oo - spooky hotel - an ex-monastery, with weird pictures on the wall - some of which were just 'wrong':
Forgot to take a piccy of the odo, but the track of the day shows 122km.
The track of the day (122km):