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Reasonable walk today, about 17k from Altopacio to San Miniato. Should be thirty plus but there is a bus from a little village before the steep bits so planned on catching that… notice I am hedging….

Set off, went the wrong way,turned right not left, lost twenty minutes but it was not raining though a bit damp underfoot and I heard it chucking it down overnight.

Place is getting crowded, two American women, slower than me. Two old guys, only saw them seated so no idea of speed.  A Norwegian couple, very speedy, and three young Italian men….fast!

All these people started yesterday from Lucca… And after today’s little epic I wonder how many will continue on foot….

After about an hours walking, even had a coffee and a pastry, it started to rain, no, bucket down would be more like it… Just as the off road stuff started, Roman Roads are even worse when wet…

Then off the Roman Road and onto clay…not bad to begin with but as the rain increased the track turned into a creek, the clay became gluggy…  I tried to walk in the long vanished Norwegian womens footprints… almost worked.  It got gluggier and gluggier, nearly lost my boot. Boots held up for a time then just became sodden..

New cape not bad….damp but not soaking,did not have over-trousers on or my rain jacket so cape did pretty well.

I was in this glug for over two hours until a road finally appeared. I was not lost and in the summer would be a nice walk.  I had a vague idea where I was and my map was in shreds so decided to head for the nearest place and get a taxi,a broom,anything as starting to get cold.

A car stopped just beside me and before the driver could escape I tapped on his window, asked where San Miniato was. He showed me on his sat nav, miles away.  I asked him where was he going and could he give me a lift (old tart)… Of course, he was going close by…took over 20 minutes so some distance away.

Of course he took me to my hotel, he had spent a year in Perth, he knew the rules!!!!

I took my boots off to get in his car and put my wet cape and almost dry pack in the boot.  When we arrived at the surprisingly upmarket San Miniato hotel I trotted in in my squelchy socks…

Yes, I gave him 10e, worth a lot more…paid an extra ten for a bath!!.. Gosh it was good.

Had a day like this last year in Spain, think it may have been muddier but not as wet..

Ugh the thought of damp boots tomorrow..will get the hairdryer onto them…

The rain is supposed to stop at the weekend….yeah right