Stage 5.11 Italy. San Quirico d’Orcia to Bolsena

3rd May 2011  “Regula Burri”  Where did we cycle too? Oh yes – Bolsena. Not Bolzano.

Starting early from San Quirico d’Orcia where the activities of other pilgrims in the dormitory have woken us up.  We don’t get far in the first hour… Outside the city walls Ian’s bike stopped changing into the higher gears.  The only mechanic works hard on fixing the problem, but doesn’t succeed and the bike now changes gears without warning. Never mind!  We get to Aquapendente and Bolsena in the end.  Again, choosing the big SS2 where we can play with the big trucks drive who are avoiding tolls on the motorway.  As we get close to a tunnel, there’s a cuckoo hinting at the madness of ours to disregard the imbalance of forces between these huge vehicles and our bikes in a dark 1000 meter long tunnel. Nevertheless, the advantage of fewer unnecessary climbs and even ground (tarmac!) on the SS2 prevails largely.

Arriving in Aquapendente we rest in front of the cathedral for lunch. The place in front is used as a car park and the first sight of the church is quite shocking… A disregarded yellow painted façade that looks like an icing of a birthday cake. Behind this new construction appears to be an 11th or 12th century brick construction. A sad structure to be sure…unloved inside and outside…  but the bench serves for lunch and a quick escape.

The expectations of an even and smooth road while riding on the SS2 would not be met. In many places the road has big (w)holes, cracks and destroyed tarmac surface.

Again on the lethal SS2 in some lovely countryside – to San Lorenzo Nuovo with the first views of Lago de Bolsena in the Sun – we do not record the view, or endorse the town particularly,  but after a short stop press on to Bolsena.

Bolsena is a nice small town… but we are staying in the Convento Santa Maria Del Giglio, which is a further monstrous climb about the town.  It is worth it… nuns cells converted into accommodation and wireless internet.

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