Whalechaser's Musings

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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Voltera, Tuscany, Italy -- The Start of My Sierra Club Hiking Program

Life can REALLY be hard when you're on the road. But not here! Our first few nights were spent at Poderi Arcangelo Agriturismo Farmhouse located in the quaint village of San Gimignano; a few miles from the walled city, out in the rolling hills of the countryside. I suppose pictures would be a better way to show it...

After checking in to my room, I wandered around the property and drank in the gorgeous scenery. I did not have to work too hard to get a good photo. Almost anywhere I looked was a great view!
I moseyed down to the pool area and found that Barbara had already laid claim to the hanging chair next to the endless pool. I could have begged for it, but there was too much going on to even think about where to sit.
The sun started slipping away practically the moment I got there. See how the pool seems endless? that far side just seems to fall off the earth. It was truly fabulous.
All the hikers met at the pool for introductions and a little get to know you better meeting. Our leader, Mary brought a few bottles of wine and as you can see, we knew exactly what to do with them! The producer just happened to be the agriturismo that we were staying at. The wine was very good.
Before long we gathered in the restaurant area to discuss the next days plans and to partake in the first of many delicious dinners served family style. First the Ribolleta soup--a thick tomato, bean and bread concoction that was the best I had ever tasted.
Then the pasta. It looks like simple spaghetti with tomato sauce...it was so much better than that. The pasta is different in Italy. I think it is the flour.There were meat and vegetable dishes also, but I apparently was not thinking about photos at that time!

The next day we started the drive to our hiking place at 8AM. We drove a bit and then we got off the bus and hiked the countryside for four hours. Vineyards, farmhouses, back roads and fig trees to fill our visions as we hiked near to the village of Voltera.
We met the bus and rode to the entry of the city and had the afternoon to ourselves to wander the streets, museums, churches or whatever else caught our fancy.

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