Aug 28. It's time to leave Manciano.
It takes me all day to pack up my few things and load them onto Rosie. I have arranged to stay with two new friends, Barney and Suzie, in Bagni San Filippo. It's vaguely north and I'm zigging and zagging here and there like a man who is lost. The idea is to reach Livorno in time for a late ferry on Aug 31.
There are hot volcanic springs here too so the three of us go out for a dip before supper. Barney is a foodie and celebrates all the local produce. He celebrates the landscape and the empty roads. If only he and Suzie could live here! If only! But Italian bureaucracy stifles their ambitions and his stories about trying to get electricity connected or buy something on the internet have reduced them both to surrender. And they're packing up to return to London. They show me the spare room where I can sleep but I've set my heart on the hammock under the vine in the garden.
Some bees have gathered in the parasol which shades the table where we are eating and they're building a hive. A little boy comes by to show us the snake he has just caught. The neighbour's cat drops in and fouls the path.