3 May – Enforced rest day

3 May – Enforced rest day

We had an enforced rest day today, Jenny being a sad cycle tourist who could not cycle!

We were staying in a bed and breakfast run by an Italian family, in the countryside. They have three small children – aged 9, 6 and 2 (Giordano, Luigi and Fiore). The six year old has Downs Syndrome and doesn’t talk. They are vegetarians and attempting some small scale farming, including bee keeping. She makes very nice bread, jam and food. Luckily they are very accommodating and were able to let us stay in the room for another night. Breakfast was included in the accommodation, but Anna also provided additional meals.

In the morning, we went to take the children to school in a nearby town with Anna – rather than just stay at the house. After dropping the two oldest children off, we went to a “bar” to drink a coffee while waiting for the nursery school to open. The little girl had a pastry and some milk – they eat sweet breakfasts from an early age.

Once the kids were dispatched, Anna dropped us off at the town of Pioraco to have a look around while she went to yoga and to do some chores.

It is a historic tourist town, but very quiet, as it is out of season. We walked around slowly (Jenny’s leg was still sore).

There is a church built into the rock. Evidently there are limestone caves under the town.

There was also a historic 14th century Franciscan church and monastery, built on a Roman theater.

There were a lot of stray cats around, sunning themselves. We saw an old lady lining plastic bottles of water up outside her shop (selling dolls), and were later told that this is to stop the cats from peeing on the doorway.

After lunch we did some route planning, and then went for a walk through the woods above the property with Anna and the eldest son Giordano.

We learned about their experiences with the big earthquake last year. The towns that were destroyed were not far from here. The family spent the night in the car and the aftershocks only stopped about a month ago. A lot of people have left the area since and it has become quite depressed.

We fell asleep very early again.

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