After our long, swelteringly hot, slumber-less night we find ourselves tired, groggy, and a little out of it. What to do when when you are in such deprived physical state? The only intelligent option that I could think of was to go and shoot some stuff. Yeah, lets go fling some long pointy sticks at stuff really fast. Joking aside, after our breakfast we discovered that archery was one of the activities that our little B&B offered. Considering you don’t need to use your knees much in this sport it seemed like a better idea for Steph’s knee than mountain biking. Off to the range we went.
Steph and I both taught archery for a minute or two back in our Kanakuk days so we considered ourselves somewhat of an expert in this endeavor. “Knock an arrow” “strike a pose” “clear down the line” “release”. Our Kanakuk safety habits came right back to us. Between the two of us we had a good time playing Robin Hood of Tuscany. Steph hit the target a few times, I managed to make contact a time or two. I even bested the instructor guy when he shot the last quiver with me. I would say that I am now ready, as Stephanie stated, “to bow us some meat”.
With our archery skills down it appears as if we just need some computer hacking skills and nun chuck skills and we will be set. We decide it is time to say goodbye to Tuscany and head off for our final destination, Roma. With our final train ride behind us we arrive in the ancient city.
Rome was not too kind to us this afternoon. One last time we embark on our traditional entrance to a foreign country. We step foot off the train and then have to figure out how to get to our destination. This has been my least favorite part of the trip. A lot of walking around with your pack. A lot of asking people for help, most of who look at you as if you are either mentally handicapped or are a much far inferior life form than themselves. A lot of stairs. A lot more walking, all of this while carrying a months worth of supplies on your back. A lot of attempting to read a language that you don’t know more than two words to. A lot of keeping your hands on your pockets, constantly checking to make sure you didn’t get pick pocketed. A lot of the patented Zarse shake of the head and wave of the hand along with an emphatic “NO” to the multiple peddlers.. A lot of subways. A lot of subway closures. A lot of bus detours. Even more walking. A lot of stops to look at the map. Crosswalks, can’t forget about the crosswalks. My lovely rule following wife can not cross a street unless it is at a crosswalk and the little walking person turns green. Walk some more. Then comes finding the hotel/hostel. The numbering system to addresses seems to be more of a guideline than a rule. Perhaps find a kind citizen/police officer to call the hotel for you and get them to come pick you up or let you in. For all these reasons and more, no matter what time of the day we get to our new home, I dump my pack on the ground and fling myself into the bed. The only thing that convinces me to get off that wonderful bed is my beautiful wife and the idea that we can’t just waste our trip lying on a bed.
This afternoon Rome had in store for us all of those things and then some. We arrive in the city around 17:00. We make it to our hotel around 20:00. My wife, in her own words, “needs some new batteries”. Due to the subway closures and our lack of understanding of exactly how we even got where we were, we decided to stay close to the hotel for the rest of the night. I found a fire station to go to and Steph found a restaurant close by. At the fire station we encounter a fire fighter that spoke no English. I was able to convey to him my goal of trading t shirts. Unfortunately he was unable to trade with me. He got me a patch and a bandana thing. I was unable to understand his Italian so I do not know why he was not able to trade shirts. This is unfortunate because I still have three shirts I need to trade and no cities left to go to. Tomorrow we will try another fire station and see if our luck is any better there. Next was the restaurant. This place was a great end to the evening. I thought the food was good but what the real refreshing part was the service. The owner of the place came and talked to us for a while. He made recommendations for us. He even gave us some complimentary dessert wine. In our travels it has been people like this that have been a breath of fresh air. People like this really make the trip for us.
We will see what tomorrow brings for us. We have quite a few things on our list that we need to see. With the subway system not really working it will be interesting to see how we will get around. Bring it on Rome!