Running on ...
HOME OF THE 'TALL MAN'... (And you can see the blog pictures below in much greater detail simply by clicking on them)
Thursday, February 23, 2017
Shorter on a gray day
Ran a little short today, not tired necessarily but maybe saving up for Sunday when we're apparently going to run with Francesco. I really don't care much for "social" running, but there you go. This is looking back up the hill toward where the car was parked. I called this "Start" but it's just as much — maybe more — "Finish."
This is from the same spot as the top picture, but it's looking west/north toward town and the cat shelter that I photographed a few days ago. I've only run this stretch that one day when we parked up at the end of it.
This is one of three or four such signs along the Val di Pesa trail, detailing the rules and the permitted activities, in Italian of course.
This is the turnaround spot, short of the past few times. I was running slowly, too.
4; 16; 30; 33.5
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Returned to the "regular" route today. This squiggly white tree caught my eye, for no particular reason. It's in the woods between the trail and the Pesa.
Out toward (but not yet to) my turnaround spot, there's some incredibly deeply plowed ground. Presumably it'll get disked and harrowed. Some of these clods are about half as big as a small car.
This is a different part of the same oddly pruned tree orchard I photographed in the past. Carlo thinks they're some kind of fruit tree.
Nice day — overcast but in the 50s. Saw several other runners and one walker (and oddly three cars).
5; 12; 26.5; 29.5
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Walk from the house
Instead of running today, Carlo and I walked from his house. It is on top of a large-ish hill, so running would have been more than we wanted to attempt. This is Carlo walking through a lane made of an odd plant called ginestra, namesake of a nearby village. The lane leads to a very old church next door to his house, San Giovanni. Part of it dates back to 1019, which means it has a millennium celebration coming up!
This is the church. Charlotte and I actually looked in on Palm Sunday mass there a few years back.
This is an out-of-control but classic double lane of ancient cypress trees that used to lead straight up to the church.
These are olive trees directly below the house. As you can see, they're in the process of being pruned.
These little daisy-like flowers were everywhere.
Here's a gate in what is obviously a game fence (too high for the little red deer here to jump over). The fenced wood is on a large property below Carlo's and stretching almost down to the Val di Pesa trail where I've been running for months.
This old, tiny (10 by 10 approximately) stone building is of unknown use. It's not close to anything else, and there's a built-up area in the corner that Carlo thought might have been a crude fireplace. I don't know. I thought maybe it was a chicken house, or goat house.
A young couple has a nice garden spot on the hillside between the village of Cerbaia and the old church on the hilltop next to Carlo's. They don't live there, but it has water and a lot of plants already growing (Feb. 21).
Nice day, good aerobic workout coming back up the hill. I'll call it a conservative 2.
2; 7; 21.5; 24.5
Monday, February 20, 2017
Today Carlo and I ran from a spot a little west of where I usually start along the Pesa ... I think it's pretty much the western terminus of the trail. Anyway, the building down there is a cat house, for feral felines. A woman was there putting out food for them when we looked.
That's Carlo up ahead. This was in the last quarter-mile or so of the run, and Carlo, of course, decided to have a "kick" at the end and run away from me. I don't do kicks any more.
It is/was a beautiful day and we went a little farther than we have ... 100 yards or so past Friday's run, with a start that was a few hundred yards farther, too.
So nice was the day that we had lunch out on the patio about 2 p.m. (after I sat in the lounge chair by the pool for almost an hour).
5; 5; 19.5; 22.5
Sunday, February 19, 2017
New route by Pesa
This old beauty was parked at the tavern near the start and finish of today's very nice run. It's a "Moto Guzzi" and Carlo said it's the type that used to be used by caribinieri in Italy (though not red, I think).
It's in the tiny village of Ponterotto which is maybe three or four miles from the house, at the other end of the same trail I've been running on for months. Today, instead of heading westward toward my usual route, we went east from the village toward another village, Calzaiolo. Along the way were several surprises, including one spot where the trail goes over a bridge and continues on the other side of the river.
There was a small dam, or weir, that seemed to serve no particular purpose but to make noise.
And there was, of all things, a baseball diamond.
There was a nice little park where many children played and people were barbecuing. Carlo said afterword that most were refugees (or immigrants of some kind anyway).
The view was different out here, too. Nice vineyard and a sort of castle on top of the hill. Felt good; beautiful day. We had a beer on the patio of the tavern afterward. Sweet.
4.5; 14.5; 14.5; 17.5
Saturday, February 18, 2017
Saturday with Miro
From left, Algimiro, Andrea, Marco and Carlo Fusaro — the boys! Probably won't see the younger ones again this trip; Miro and I will have lunch again next Sabato. Wonderful place, L'angolo del Mare, the corner place with seafood. One of the best restaurants in Tuscany, a tiny place, friendly and not far from Algimiro's home. The name is something like the "corner of the sea," and that's because it's on a corner. Probably 7 tables.
In America we had fish sticks; I call these fish balls and they're delicious ... deep fried balls with tiny shrimp in them. Each plate had a dozen or so; I didn't think to photograph it until most were eaten. You can see others had it, too.
Here's Miro and his youngest grandson, Andrea, who lives in Milano and who spent the summer with me a few years ago. He says he might be quitting his job as a financial consultant next fall, so I hope I'll see him again then!
This is Elisabeth and Miro. A great, 3-hour lunch!
Friday, February 17, 2017
Today's post is for memory's sake more than for readers' interest — it shows the general course of the run from start to end so that I'll not forget it soon. This, therefore, is the road down from the parking area to the trail. Oh, and by the way, I went longer today than I've gone since starting a couple of months ago.
And this is where that road eventually ties into the trail next to the Pesa River.
And here's the Pesa River not far from the start. The trail follows the river both ways, but farthest to the east and south (the way I go).
Here's the scenery along the way. Note vineyards below and olive trees above. Absolutely classic Chianti/Tuscany.
Here's today's turnaround, which is more than 2 miles from the start. I felt good today after taking yesterday off with a stiff knee. Got a ton of writing done, though, so it was worth it both ways.
On the way back was this severely pruned orchard. Not sure what the trees are ... too big to be vines. Maybe some kind of fruit, though they don't really look like it.
4.5; 10; 10; 13