It was the 11th day of Via Francigena trail when we hiked around 17 kms from the city Siena to the town Buonconvento.
On the day 11 of our Via Francigena hike we were back on the trail after a 4 day rest in the campsite. We had a really nice time there in a secluded quiet place in the forest and had time to really recover and start fresh again. The location was one of the exceptional ones with no traffic close, very few people because of not a very popular destination and thus no noise which is really important for the good rest.
So we already had a night out in the fields before we started the day because we could get to village Cuna close to Siena only in the evening. We didn’t sleep very well that night because while resting we got out of our normal hiking routine of going to sleep early and getting up early. And it always takes the time to get back to it.
We had our breakfast, wrapped everything up just in time for the tractor to come to the field and at 8.30 am we were out on the trail.
The day before when we were still at the campsite there was quite a heavy rain all night and day long and it was still a lot of freshness and coolness in the air. Since the last rain it had been very long probably around two weeks so we hoped that it will help the temperatures to drop down. We still remembered the last days when we were hiking in extreme heat conditions at 37 degrees Celsius and it was dreading hot. Looking at the weather forecast for upcoming week we saw that the max temperatures wouldn’t exceed 32 degrees. It was a bit better and we hoped that it won’t change.
So we were out on the trail and the first several kilometers we were going up and down a bit but mostly flat and in the shadow all the way to locality Quinciano. We were again surprised to see in every even little old village and house someone is actually living and we could see many signs of it like chairs and tables, laundry and the people themselves working in their gardens or just chatting with each other. The downside of it was the amount of dirt car roads and cars moving through them and picking up a lot of dust from the ground.
That day we’ve seen a lot of yellow clear fields with moved grass and no grapes or olive trees on it. There were still a lot of typical landscapes that day of the endless hills, Cyprus trees on the side of the roads leading to the big houses on top of the hills.
So most of the day we hiked through the routes along the fields with almost no shadow and it was very cruel to us because the sun was still very strong.
We passed along a lot of sunflower fields as well that day and they were very pretty. The combination of blue skies, green hills and yellow flowers was a perfect one.
Also we walked along the railway for quite a few kilometers which was all straight route through the fields with little to no shadow. We have seen the train passing on this railway and it was quite an old one working on a diesel engine.
This way we got to the first village Ponte d’Arbia which was named by the old medieval bridge that was located there. It was a bricked construction with several arches that now served as a normal car road.
There we had a stressful moment with our main video camera Sony AX53 that we use to shoot a lot, especially close-ups of animals or any details. It suddenly started blinking at us and the focus was going back and forward doing strange sounds. That was really scary and we thought it was the end of its life. But fortunately we found a reason why it was behaving like that. We remembered that before this accident happened we were at the water fountain collecting water and washing our faces and we perfectly knew how not waterproof this camera is. So it was probably because of drops of water that got inside the camera and caused this. So we tried drying it up on direct sunlight leaving all the screens and inputs open and it seemed to work. From now on we will always keep it safe and far from any water because it’s our most important and favorite camera.
Then we walked a little bit more along the railway in the sun and finally came to our destination village Buonconvento. There we planned on doing some shopping, have a break and a bit of snack and go out of the village to search for the camp spot. This village had two parts of it one was new with the modern houses and the other old full of narrow streets and bricked buildings with the church and surrounded by the bricked walls with really old wooden gates to the village.
So we did spend a good couple of hours there in a little park just chilling out and having our focaccia and ice cream for the snack. Then we got back on via Francigena hoping that a bit further in the fields we would find the camp spot.
That wasn’t an easy task because first we stumbled across many private properties and houses, then a huge field of olive trees and many very hilly fields with too much of a slope. Finally we were able to find a spot going all the way down in the field with a mowed grass close to the tree line.
We saw there a lot signs of the roe deer and we knew we are going to see them. And after a little bit of time they came out to the field eating the grass but at the moment they saw us they ran away as quickly as they could.
We had our shower there because we felt really sweaty and sticky, cooked dinner and set up the tent. We came at the place already late at 19 pm so didn’t have much time to rest. The day was getting slowly shorter at the end of July and we had only 2 hours of daylight left. So we needed to do everything quickly to be in time till the darkness and not having to use the flashlight. We always avoid using it as it is well seen from a distance. So at around 21pm we were ready to go to sleep.