Me and You and a Dog Named Boo(Lobo) - A Relaxing Day in Poppi and a Walk with Samo - 20th May 2016

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May 20th 2016
Published: May 24th 2016
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Well we had decided that we weren’t going to venture too far from our Tuscany apartment and just enjoy the surroundings for the next 4 days.

The weather when we arrived last night was heavily overcast and the light was gloomy and we couldn’t really tell what the view from the apartment terrace was going to be like.

When we awoke this morning it was still overcast but not as heavy and there were signs of blue sky appearing with the sun trying its best to poke through. We could not have wished for a better place!

The view from the terrace over the Casentino valley and down to the town of Poppi is just beautiful. Beyond Poppi in the hills on the other side of the valley to us is the town of Soci and there are other small clusters of houses in the bush covered hillside.

After a late breakfast we caught up with a bit of administration during which there was a tap at the door. Frederico asked whether we would like the pellet fire lit and as it was still a little cool after yesterday’s rain we thought that would be a good idea.

What an efficient way to heat a house. We have seen pellet fires in New Zealand but they appear to be expensive to buy and install and also to run compared to a standard wood burner and the firewood you buy each year. We might yet be persuaded however when the wood burner needs replacing!

Frederico also bought with him a fresh loaf of bread and a bottle of red wine. The bread we will have with lunch but keep the wine for dinner despite the fact that we intend not to drive the car today.

Soup seemed appropriate for lunch today although the temperature inside the apartment with the fire going had warmed nicely and even outside the sun had come out and the overcast had been replaced by scattered clouds.

By mid afternoon we thought we had sat around long enough and it was time to stretch the legs and see what was up the road further. We decided against going down the hill as it is nearly 4km to Poppi on the winding road and of course we would have had to walk uphill to get home. The legs didn’t need stretching that much!

It was just as well we chose going up the hill as the walk turned out to be shorter than we might have intended as we were joined by a dog from the neighbouring property. Not that we encouraged him and in fact tried to take him back home a couple of times and also thought that by ignoring him and walking fast he might not keep up as he had a bit of a hobble.

But he was determined and of course would not have understood our directions to him in English to go home!

The road up from Poppi is very quiet with the only traffic being locals who are few and far between.

However, Samo (we discovered his name later from Frederico) wandered from one side of the road to the other sometimes walking alongside us and other times in the grass verge on the other side of the road.

At one point when he was crossing to join us we noticed a vehicle coming towards us but he just kept on making the vehicle slow and drive around him. He had been just too far ahead of us to try and divert him out of the way or grab him by the scruff as he didn’t have a collar.

We had gone about a kilometre and would have carried on but with Samo wanting to trail along we thought we better head back and we didn’t want any more vehicle incidences.

Heading back down the hill meant our view was out over the valley and it was even more expansive than from the apartment terrace.

It is hard to see what the owners of the few houses produce up here on the hillside apart from their domestic vegetable gardens so perhaps the houses are just where they live and they work elsewhere. The land is probably too steep in part for grazing other than sheep or goats and even then there is no fencing.

We were about 300 metres from the driveway to home and Samo suddenly decided to head down the bank and disappeared into the trees and undergrowth.

At first we thought he had seen something to chase, although his hobble would have meant he would have second if it was a rabbit or other small animal.

After a couple of minutes of standing and admiring the view Samo had not returned and we became a bit anxious. We called (although at this point we didn’t know his name) and whistled but he still didn’t appear.

Then Gretchen spotted him on a farm track well below us that lead across country to the neighbour’s house he had appeared from when we had set out on the walk.

He had obviously got to a place on our return journey where he knew a short cut home and had taken it!

With the adventure over for the afternoon we sat out in the sunshine and took in the view and also listening to the jet aeroplanes overhead which we figured out had originated their journeys out of Florence.

It certainly isn’t hard to quickly relax, except for the Samo incident, in this little piece of Tuscany paradise.

PS:love this classic song from 1973 and although it doesn't really reflect the relaxing day and the scenic Tuscany countryside it does pay tribute to a new friend,Samo,the dog.Enjoy it on Youtube.

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