Stage 5.10 Italy. Sienna to San Quirico d’Orcia

2nd May 2011

Today we remember that the powerful will always abuse their power, or fail to use it constructively.  A Christian fundamentalist US rejoices in the extra judicial killing of a violent Moslem fundamentalist.  America apparently rejoices in the death of Osama Bin Laden…wives, children and anyone in the way of the special forces dead heads – and Obama hopes that another official US murder gives “closure” to the 9/11 victims.  Nothing is gained and a thousand Muslims without “closure” will join the cause against “the great Satan”. Can he be so stupid?  By ignoring every democratic and decent value, democracy and decency can be preserved?  Violence will create peace for the US?

Exactly, this way the US created Saddam and really Osama and everything he represents – and that process continues.  He had no army, no CIA, no Airforce.  Many many, will think there is some element of greatness in that? Compared to Bush and Obama?

I wonder if the US would protest if China killed the Dalai Llama?  Or if Iran executes the US “trekkers”.   It’s the American way…?

From Sienna, we are not going far after days in the hills.  Leaving to the South East – small hilly road marked as VF.  Have we still not learned our lesson!? It gives us some pointless steep climbs on a small road.  Nevertheless, we follow the shambolic VF route for a while – until the signage disappears and then reappears.  There is a small French group – not going to Rome.  Then suddenly, at an old farmhouse before Isola D’Arbia, the route ends!  It has been cut by new road works with no new provision!  The engineer comes to talk to us – no concern about cutting an international walking route at all!   Abuse of power is a theme today. We cut across some old fields and back to the Via Cassia through a motor repair works!   8km in two hours won’t suffice…

Then having learned our lesson we stay on the faster SR2. There is a new super fast bit of it, incomplete…with no cars!  Then back to the Via Cassia.  It is wide and very fast – plenty of trucks.   An uncomfortable experience – but through Ponte D’Arbia and a stop in Buenconvento to have some lunch.   This is an interesting place indeed, and I vow to research it some more.   There is an old blue sign, “Rome 200”. We know there is a big climb to come to San Quirico d’Orcia. – and while the SS2 may smooth the profile – that height has to be gained one way or the other. It is the other.  A hard climb indeed, and we enter the town through an ancient gate, in long demolished walls and find the Romanesque Church and the pilgrim accommodation.


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