May 11: Capalbio to the Tyrrhenian Sea to Orbetello

Today's ride is over the relatively flat terrain to the Natural Park of La Feniglia lying on the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Unlike the day before there was no need to climb a hill before venturing out on the route. There was only the long narrow "rolling" driveway that was navigated the day before. Short but with enough of a decline and incline to get all that blood flowing again!

Once out on the country road it was just cruise down, pedal up, cruise down, pedal a little and enjoy the beauty of the surroundings. The elevation dropped at a steady rate with very little fluctuation. Oh an occasional "bump" in the road appeared just to make sure that the focus of the body wasn't totally moving into a dream state. Not safe on a bike to be completely out of touch with the immediate road conditions or traffic. Following narrow and basically untraveled backroads, the ride was superb. Those meadows appeared again full of poppies and olive groves. The vineyards ran over the countryside in straight lines with the cyprus soldiers standing guard. But now the air was changing from that crisp cool air of the mountains to the moist warm air of the sea. The fields now started to have tomatoes and zucchini instead of the wheat of days ago. The sea was in view with the modern buildings -- a cultural shock after so many days of medieval villages. One last hill was needed to ascend before reaching the sea. As the road narrowed it just seemed to go up into the sky. It was not a long one, just a very vertical one. However, after several days of riding the "hills" of Tuscany, the hill just dissolved as one pedaled each stroke. And then -- a long winding coast down through the homes along the seas to the Natural Park of "La Feniglia".

The bike trail entered the forest creating a sensation of falling into "Middle Earth" from the trilogy's. The deer played along side the road as the group pedaled along. The trees bent to form an archway guiding the way. A quick left and up and over a sand dune -- the beach and a picnic lunch.

A short visit to the town of Orbetello across a narrow strip of land connecting the island and the mainland to indulge in that famous Italian gelato and then back to the hotel to rest up for the last night's dinner.

The trip is ending, but the phenomenal memories will linger on. New friends have been made; new environments discovered; new customs experienced; new foods savored; new wines tested; new olive oils consumed -- the list is endless. Under the Tuscan sun in the providence of Maremma is a world of magic. It is a world of beauty beyond words. Dario and Paolo through their own personal love of the country and specifically this area have shared the energy that makes this so special.



Lisa: "Let's Go! I'm Ready!"

The Group

The Paint Stroke Across the Fields

And More!

The Flowers of Beauty in Sight and Smell!

The Green and Silver Contribution of the Olive Tree

La Feniglia

Riding Through The Archways

Middle Earth

Jackie, "Is The Water Cold, Jackie?"

Lisa: "Wait, I'll Google to See How Cold the Water Is!"

Dessert -- Priorities

Paolo: "Last One In Doesn't Get Any Dessert!"

Lunch Time Discussion

Paolo: "I Have Heard That American Women Like To Box. Don"t Hurt Me!"

Sue: "I Can't Believe That Sand Got In There Too!"

Lisa on the Path to Orbetello

Under the Tuscan Sunset!

Farewell Tribute -- Our Own Personal Comedy Routine