Monday, June 15, 2009

The road to nowhere

Another morning and afternoon lazing in the sun by the pool. Me reading Jon Ronson’s The Men Who Stare at Goats (birthday present from Rachie), Rachel reading A Death in Tuscany. Every so often it gets so hot you just have to dive in to the pool to cool off. It’s a hard life.

Again around 4-ish we head out in the car, this time with a view to taking the gravel road over the hill opposite us towards Lake Trasimeno. We were warned by Marianne and Andrew the day before that it would be twisty and bumpy (which it was) but it apparently cut out a 20 minute drive along this valley and back along the next so it seemed worth it.

“The only place you can go wrong,” Andrew had warned, “is where the road forks and it looks like the road continues straight ahead. But you need to bear right.”

“Just keep to the right,” Marianne had added.

We duly arrived at a fork in the road towards the top of the hill. The main road (using the word “main” and the word “road” loosely here) did look as though it continued straight ahead over the hill and down the other side. But there was a track to the right that continued up the hill. Rachel and I agreed, as we replayed Andrew’s advice in our heads, that we should bear right and continue up the hill. And so we followed the single track road through the trees that was even more bumpy and twisty. And we followed. And we followed. Until… we came across a lorry that was coming the other way! If there was one thing I wasn’t expecting to encounter along this isolated track through the forest, it was a lorry coming the other way. Somehow it managed to get past us. And we thought that the lorry must be coming from somewhere so this road must lead somewhere. And so we followed. And we followed.

Eventually we passed through an open gate. We could make out the word “privat” on the sign next to the gate. But still we continued. We’d come too far to simply turn around. Until we came to another signed that said something to the effect of “No entry to unauthorized personnel”. At this point we considered that we must have come the wrong way. We didn’t fancy carrying along the road only to be stopped by a landowner carrying a shotgun yelling the Italian equivalent of “Get orf moi land!”

Our detour meant we arrived a little later in Tuoro than we might have. Not much there. The town itself was about a mile from the edge of the lake. At the lake’s edge there was a campsite (which reminded us both of childhood camping holidays) and a manmade beach. Not much else. We considered heading back home to have some dinner back at the house, calling in to a supermarket on the way to pick up some essentials (i.e., beer). But before doing so we thought we’d look at Passignano, another small town 5 km along the edge of the lake from Tuoro. Passignano had much more going for it that Tuoro. Although it wasn’t at all busy you could see it would be more attractive to tourists with it being right at the edge of the lake, and having a number of bars and restaurants. We parked the car next to an Alimentari (grocery store) and so were able to do get our shopping (i.e., beer) before having a wander around the town.

We called home to see how Freya was. We couldn’t really hear but picked up that she had been swimming for an hour and a half and was having a lovely time. A text sent by Sandra later that evening confirmed this and added that they had gone out for dinner and Freya had had fish and a crème brulee (presumably as a main course and dessert, not mixed together in the same pot… though I wouldn’t put it past her). We, too, decided to eat out, and found a lovely trattoria hidden down a back street.

The drive home was somewhat less treacherous.

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