6:25 am my alarm went off. SIX TWENTY-FIVE! I think I'm going bonkers (and so does everybody else). Our friends have a 2 1/2 year old though and can't lie in, so it was an 8 am start. And I wanted to run again and try and find the route I had planned for my last run.
Fortunately it is light at that time, I was a bit worried it might be dark which would make running through the woods on very rocky paths somewhat difficult. So out of the door it was into the cool, clear Tuscan morning air. There were a couple of people on their way into work who received a cheerful buongiorno from yours truly, but once I was on the road leading to the woods I saw nobody. Just me, the trees and a very stony path. Very undulating aswell. In fact, I would say hilly. I came to the t-junction with the friendly sign pointing right - the wrong way as I found out last time. Looking left the path still looked decidedly dodgy, but it was my only option. There was a good track heading more or less straight but even my primitive Italian could see the road was marked private. So left it was. Narrow, stony, almost washed out and steep. Not my favourite. But it did improve and opened out to a forest path where someone had left a pile of logs. And there was certainly habitation around, even though I thought I was being light-footed somewhere among those trees a whole pack of dogs was baying for my blood. But fortunately I couldn't see them, nor could I see the property they were protecting so efficiently. I left them behind though and was quite enjoying my forest path, when it came out into a clearing, surprising 3 deer in the process. Two of them ran off into the trees, but the third stuck around for a while and let me take some very bad photos. And then the next bend in the path took me out of the trees completely to the most beautiful view over the valley. I almost gasped it was so gorgeous. Ridge upon ridge of purpley, pink hills, olive trees in the foreground and the sun just coming up. I stopped to admire this breathtaking vista, before running up a proper road with the promising name of "castle road" (translated). I didn't find the castle, but ran past some lovely farms, identifying potential running tracks along the way.
And then it was more or less the same route back, as I didn't want to run along the main road. When I got back I discovered I'd gone wrong again. The route I'd planned was in fact the private road. No indication that it's private on Google maps, but there was definitely a big gate and a sign.
Still if I'd gone that way I might not have seen the deer and the dawn.
The pictures are my dawn picture, the deer (a brown blob just about identifiable left of the olive tree), the "private road" and the dodgy path to the left of the private road. They don't do the reality justice, I'm a crap photographer.