My friends and husband collapsed in an exhausted heap at about 5pm this evening, after a delicious but somewhat rich lunch. Yours truly was sorely tempted but I'd looked up a promising route for a run and had been too lazy to get out this morning. So I donned my gear and trotted through our Tuscan village, cheered on by one of the local women (well, I hope it was cheering, she had a big smile on her face and was very chatty). Down the side street which Google Maps told me led to the woods I wanted to run in. The side street was quite steep, gulp, I'm not used to hills and I'd have to come back UP this way. For the moment it was generally downhill though, pretty undulating and once I'd got into the woods very rocky and stony. But the path was clear and even had a street name, although it was not what I would call a road. Oh well, no need to worry about traffic!
I passed huge houses - and the thought of dogs did cross my mind, but there weren't any, even though the houses had cars in front of them. So people did drive down here somehow! And then a t-junction, it was even signposted, and the street name pointed right. I vaguely remembered that the route I'd looked up looped round to the left, but the path that way looked really dodgy - and the friendly sign pointed to the right. Well the friendly sign was wrong. I soon found myself out on a firm, dirt track running between fields. The harvest was in, the ground was cracked, and the track meandered up and down the hills with stunning views. I loved it. A farmer trundled up the track in his truck and I hoped I wasn't trespassing, so I put my best smile on, gave him a friendly wave as he passed me and received a curt nod in return. "Mad" his look said "its 22 degrees and there's a daft woman running through my fields". "Brilliant" I thought "if I get lost and never find my way back, at least there's a witness to say where he last saw me!".
My track looked as if it led to a proper road and I did not fancy running back to my village along that, so I reluctantly decided to turn back. 2 1/2 km in unfamiliar terrain can seem a very long way. Plus it was mostly uphill all the way back to the woods. But apart from a persistent horse-fly which pursued me through the woods my return route was uneventful. Although I did walk a bit on some of the hills. And stopped to take pictures. But I bombed up the side-street, just in case the chatty Italian woman was watching out for me. You have to put up a show you know. She was still there, sitting on a bench in her garden with 3 other older people, who all nodded and smiled as I trotted past.
Another 5k in foreign lands under my belt. Feeling very virtuous - and hubby and I are skipping our evening meal tonight in an attempt to remedy some of the piggery!