A short walk today so a sort of sleep in, the fog obscuring the nearest house. We are on the top of a high hill, so we’re in that place where we mostly and recently have seen obscured – we are hidden from the world. It is so quiet as we wake – the only sounds are ours, as Corrie heats up the milk and I open my clothesline window, now an old hand at street laundry.

I wander around our 5 room house high up in via Roma on a narrow sharp sloping lantern lit street in the ancient village of Radicofani – a fruttaria to one side, a piazza on the other – the fruttaria is open, the owner fussing about, and the bar in the piazza just outside the archway is serving coffee to 2 walkers. It is not cold, my t-shirt still being adequate, and as we move out a km from town we are warm.

Now it’s down time as we start our gradual decline, yes us also, on our morning’s walk. We are soon passed by a Swiss woman in her forties and chat for a while as she struggles to keep down to our relatively slow pace. We’ve noticed the Swiss mostly travel alone, at a fast pace and for long distances at a time – she was travelling from Canterbury in England. Soon after a Swiss man hurried pass just in case we talked too much and held him back, then a pensive Spanish man, and I talked briefly to a young Italian girl struggling to keep going.

Down and further down we saw more sheep being cared for by these white dogs – just quietly strolling about them but with the odd bark at us as we come closer on our gravel road. Just a few cars joined us but without dust due to the early morning moisture. Nearing a small church which are our lodgings tonight we found a bar to rest at, and get a key from, because they are the caretakers as well – and that’s the whole village.

It’s another house if you like. There are 8 beds in 2 rooms, but just us tonight, so we have a 4 room ‘donativo’ home — took ownership of the usually shared bathroom, made a double bed from 2 singles, put our feet up and looked out onto tomato vines and poplars framed from behind by a large bare hill. For a moment we thought we would have to share our home with a young walker as he looked in and saw Corrie and I lying on a bed staring out the window, and kept going – probably thought it was a nursing home!

The bar opens at 6.00 tomorrow so no need to boil milk, and we’ll be prepared for our longer day.