Distance: 24.2 km – Elevation +110 m -100 m
Weather: Sunny. Temperature: High 30 degrees
I used Google Maps to plot my route to my abode for the next three days, the Villa la Donga in Lucca. I felt relaxed and happy in the feeling of looking forward to my time of rest in Lucca. The route from my hotel first took along a path close to the sea, not a good option as the path was enclosed on both sides with 6 feet tall bamboo. It eventually led me to a path that followed a canalized river that ran from Lake Massaciuccoli to the sea. It was a pleasant walk along the bank path until I reached the railway line where there was a brick wall preventing further progress so I had to backtrack to Torre del Lago and replot a route from there. After following the revised route for a couple of kilometres I came to another issue, an open gate marked “privato”. Not wanting to backtrack again I continued to follow the path through woodland. The path ended at a 6 foot high barbed wired gate and fence with no way through, so fighting my way through dense undergrowth I followed the fence line and found a gap big enough to squeeze through. Still on private land, I quickly hurried through a deserted yard to reach once again a public track! This track was close to Lake Massaciuccoli and I found myself in a nature park, the Parco Migliarino, San Rossore, Massaciuccoli. I saw a wild boar followed by several boarlets cross the path ahead before quickly disappearing into the surrounding wetlands. It was really hot again and the paths through the park had no shade and my water supply was diminishing rapidly. The track, my route, through the park came to a minor road where I found a man selling peaches by the side of the road and eager to both quench my thirst and ease my hunger I asked to buy two peaches, he shook his head and indicated he was only selling the large trays containing 24 peaches!. A wee bit deflated I continued on and as always, on this journey, providence always seems to provide and I found a Ristorante and Pizzeria in the middle of nowhere. It was closed but in another moment of providence, I had seen the owner arrive in his car. I walked into the bar and he was restocking, he indicated they were closed but when I pointed to the beer pulling handle on the bar, he smiled and happily poured me a large glass of cold draught beer. Duly refreshed I continued to follow the country road to reach the Villa la Donga just before 5.00 pm.