Dinner with 10 others in the Convento de San Francesco, including our 2 French fellow walkers, 3 Italian men and a Dutchman. The Dutchman has walked from Holland – his partner doesn’t like to walk – I felt a bit sad for them but maybe it works.

We left San Miniato in good spirits though a bit weary. Weaving our way through this fascinating hilltop village, we lowered ourselves down through twisting roadways – ‘1 car every 2 minutes’ until we moved onto gravel roads that carved their way through undulating topography from slight and long to steep and short, while at times following high narrow ridges with steep cultivated (I don’t know how) fields.

Far off the Apennines and friends sat like tall ominous shadows framing the rolling hills with their various crops or resting fields waiting for the right season to show their wares once more. It’s grape picking time so we passed many young female pickers and tractors crawling up (I don’t know how) the impossible hillsides. A little further on and half the road had collapsed a 1/2 metre – not sure if it’s earthquake related.

Because we start so early we get a lot of shade from the earth, then later on some trees, and hills when in the valleys but none other for the most part of long climbing sections. It may not have been so bad but for the long day before, but it was. So many breaks, then bursts to get through the discomfort of sore backs and necks. We also kept pace with the Flying Dutchman for a while to take our minds off ourselves.

Just one village today but with no bars, so no longer spoilt by the usual plethora we needed to take our bananas with us and ensure a good water supply because there was no opportunity to refill or buy on the way. We passed 2 young English speaking girls coming the other way but not sure what their story was – I usually engage in conversation, but didn’t on this occasion.

One km from home and a bar and a seat – so happy – the long lemon soda hill home was a breeze. Our lodgings were B&B and often there is no all day reception so had to wait an hour ’til 3. Two young girls arrived and organised our rooms. All the pain and deep and meaningful thoughts about the day and what we may, or may not, have got from it melted away when I read one of the girl’s t-shirt “Believe in your selfie”.