Mary’s inner GPS malfunctions and Las Chicas end up on roads without shoulders, then on a dirt road that goes past farms, but not necessarily “toward the gap,” as directed by B&B host. We regret wearing winter jackets and are soon carrying them.
We enjoy the sunshine in the countryside, even on the wrong route, and we pass farmers pruning fruit trees, and assorted goats and gardens and old farms turned into vacation villas. Mary notes that we walk on St. Valentine’s Road which circles around and eventually joins the correct route.
This Roman and Etruscan route runs straight west, paved and still in use. The road abruptly turns to dirt, then turns into a stone-paved farm track as Las Chicas enter the Enchanted Forest.
On the right, tufo (volcanic) rocks line the path–do they form a creek bed or a deeply entrenched Etruscan Road? On the left, a broken wooden fence covers the entrance to what could be an Etruscan tomb. It looks like tombs Las Chicas saw in the guidebook:
Las Chicas walk beneath brick arch, possibly Roman:
The road surface changes from stones to slightly sticky mud, but Las Chicas continue on toward the tinkling bells.
There, across the field, we see a small heard of sheep with bells on their necks. Lisa is intent on getting a picture of the black sheep, a totem from times past. She wonders, “Does every flock of sheep have a black sheep?”
The sheep dog sees us, gets up and barks a warning. He remains alert, but does not leave his flock.
Las Chicas return home the same way. The afternoon sun sparkles from the golden facade of Orvieto’s Duomo on top of the distant hill.
We climb the steep road back to Orvieto, walking beneath the walls and cliffs, through the gate and up cobbled streets to our B&B.
Find the sheep dog and the black sheep in this video:
© 2014 by Lisa Howells and Mary Reynolds. All rights reserved.