Days 28/29

Already before arriving in Siena I've determined that I will take a day off here. It is now my 9th day of cycling nonstop -- my last rest day was in Como -- and the past few days have been extra exhausting. However after checking into the "Siena Hostel Guidoriccio" I am quite disappointed and it is thanks to a perceived lack of alternatives, my unwillingness to do any more research / to move my stuff to a different location that I stay there for 2 nights nonetheless. The next few days will show if I am still free of lice!

Days 30/31

The sun strikes again on the leg from Siena to "San Quirico d'Orcia". At least the pilgrim hostel there is quite lively and (even though the cities are full of them) I meet my first German traveler, a student from Frankfurt who has spontaneously decided to take on a part of the Via Francigena. The shared bedroom (I count 12 beds) is filled with 11 people: Im the lucky one to have a whole bunkbed all to myself.

The next morning i discover that one of my bags is coming apart. Guess I should've checked the screws on the bags, too! Let's see how long my handyman solution will last...

"They all look alike" is the comment of a (supposedly British) cyclist speeding past me whilst I'm heading towards Radiofunky Radicofani. Indeed, it is easy to confuse the little Tuscan villages I'm passing through -- for me it is anyways. Outstanding about Radicofani is for sure the incline: I have to get off the bike and push several times.

Of course the villages all have their iconic historic buildings, churches, market places and whatnot as well. To me, having seen one or two however, is enough. Anyways my GO / NOGO criteria place more value on affordable accommodation and a supermarket not too far away from it. The latter are often hard to come by.

Radicofani lacks the latter so I head on to Acquapendente where I quickly find my way to "The House of Lazarus", a rather large pilgrim hostel.

Despite initial hesitation the hosts take me in. They seem to be expecting a larger group that night. I'm being told that dinner time is a 7pm. I'm being cooked for? That's a nice surprise!

Around 7 the hallway becomes increasingly more vivid: The group of around 20 Italian students (around 15-18 years old) have arrived and one of the accompanying social workers is quickly ordered to sit next to me: he's the only one that speaks English. During dinner (we're being served a 3 course meal of pasta forno, schnitzel with potatoes and water melon) I learn he's from Hungary, has lived in Germany for a few months (hence speaks some German as well) and the project he's with aims to help young students with homework etc.

The next morning I gladly oblige to the selfie request of my hosts. Unfortunately I didn't really get their names, so say hi to two very friendly Italian ladies: