Hello everyone….

Today I woke at 8.30am after a good nights sleep… feeling a little more revived but still I have a general feeling of mild exhaustion..probably too strong a word please don’t feel alarmed : ) but I think the weeks on the road are wreaking slight havoc with my body. Maybe it’s all a psychological state, where with such a short distance to go now before we reach our goal, the mind weakens and lets down its guard a little, allowing itself to wallow in a little self absorption, or maybe it’s the heat and the ease of which our bodies become dehydrated..making us constantly vigilant to the necessity of high fluid and nutrition uptake. Or maybe it’s just a combination of both these factors…, as every day has been..was good: ) Easy, relaxed and incredibly interesting!

Jo and I had breakfast at a nearby cafe overlooking the Piazza del Campo..which is really the centre of Siena. This piazza is where the famous horse race Il Palio, is held each year in June, next weekend to be exact. Actually we miss it thankfully, as It sounds to me quite cruel…from a horses point of view. They race around the square in the Piazza del Campo and to my mind there must be serious injuries incurred for both riders and horses. The course has some tight corners and although the stone surface is lined with sawdust and sand, these conditions would have to be debilitating on the horses delicate tendons. The riders have the choice whether they want to put their precious lives in danger of survival….but the horses have no option. I find this all very disturbing : (

The lead up to this event however, is entertaining! Since we have been here in Siena we have witnessed a regular passing parade of italianos marching through the narrow streets, dressed in strange costumes and simultaneously beating drums loudly and waving flags ceremoniously. They were out in full force last night and then again…passed my bedroom window this morning early..very early in fact….grrrrrr, then they continued on and off through the day finally finishing with a grand finale in the piazza at about 8 pm. This ever passing possession seems to consist of a hierarchy of males. There are the small boys who proudly march,albeit a little subconsciously, some already with the enormous responsibility of wielding the drum sticks ..then there is a gradual spread of age groups but interestingly there appeared to be very few over the age of 30. Not sure about the significance of this but I’ll endeavour to find out. Then following this pageantry are the women and children and the older men..all very interesting!

A few photos of our experiences starting with the Piazza del Campo, where the race will be held next weekend.





Hahaha….: )

This morning I spent a little time exploring Siena..and it was thoroughly enjoyable. I visited the imposing Basilica San Dominico. Some photos of my walk to San Dominica. : )








A lovely ceramic shop where I did a little damage..: ( Oh well, my first little shopping experience and a wonderful reminder of Siena and indeed Italy..luckily I don’t have to carry it but it will greet me in Melbourne when I arrive : )

Time for me to go to bed now! We have a longish day tomorrow…to Monteroni d’Arbia. Jo I think plans to leave at about 5am…way to early for me : ( I hope to be on the road by about 6.30 – 7am but its now 10.30pm anything can happen!

Buona notte from a very tired Netia : )

Love and hugs.. XX

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7 Responses to Siena

  1. Susie says:

    Hi girls, just to tell you a bit about the parades etc. which we experienced last year in Sulmona. In Italy and around Europe they have revived the tradition of the ‘Jostra’ (jousting) tournament from the Middle Ages. I was told that this revival was done to give the young people something to do and be interested in. Every town or village is divided into small districts or ‘quarters’ (I think they’re called quattros) and every one has a flag with a unique design and colour scheme that is also reflected in their respective costumes, shields and livery and I think they elect a king and queen and have the band of young supporters who are taught to play the drums and other musical intruments. Every quarter in the town participates in the seasonal Jostra competition, which is supported by the parades and various other celebrations, events and feasts that the whole town gets involved in which are fun. The town competition culminates in the grand final Jostra tournament weekend at the end of July. Then they have the national tournament and I think after that the international one. I was shocked and upset by the fact that they also have owls and eagles etc that are shackled and sit on the owners shoulders where they have to endure the noisy parades, photo opps etc and then performances in the jostras. I got up close to these beautiful owls and they looked so afraid – so cruel particularly given they are nocturnal animals. Anyway enjoy the celebrations and festivities, the rest is fun. Susie xx

  2. Elizete says:

    The first part was written on the wall at the Pilgrims hostel,Burgos and I wanted to share it with you. Wishing you much strength,peace & Light. Much love to you & Jo. You girls are amazing. xxx

    1] Tu ya llegaste. Por lo tanto, siente el placer en cada paso y no te preocupes con las cosas que todavía tienes que superar. No tenemos nada delante de nosotros, apenas un camino para ser recorrido a cada momento con alegría. Cuando practicamos la meditación peregrina, estamos siempre llegando, nuestro hogar es el momento actual y nada más.

    2] Por causa de eso, sonríe siempre mientras andas. Aunque tuvieses que esforzarte un poco y sentirte ridículo. Acostúmbrate a sonreír y terminarás alegre. No tengas miedo de mostrar que estás contento.

    3] Si piensas que la paz y la felicidad están siempre adelante, jamás conseguirás alcanzarlas. Trata de entender que ambas son tus compañeras de viaje.

    4] Cuando andas, estás masajeando y honrando la tierra. De la misma manera, la tierra está tratando de ayudarte a equilibrar tu organismo y tu mente. Entiende esta relación y trata de respetarla Que tus pasos sean dados con la firmeza del león, la elegancia del tigre, la dignidad de un emperador.

    5] Presta atención a lo que sucede a tu alrededor. Concéntrate en tu respiración eso te ayudará a liberarte de los problemas y ansiedades que tratan de acompañarte en tu camino.

    6] Al caminar, no eres tu apenas que te estás moviendo, sino todas las generaciones pasadas y futuras. En el mundo llamado de real el tiempo es una medida, pero en el verdadero mundo no existe nada más allá del momento presente. Ten plena conciencia que todo lo que ya sucedió y todo lo que sucederá está en cada paso tuyo.

    7] Sé feliz. Haz de la meditación peregrina un constante encuentro contigo mismo; jamás una penitencia en busca de recompensas. Que siempre crezcan flores y frutos en los lugares donde tus pies toquen.

  3. wheresnetia says:

    Elizete…you just made me cry : ) those words are very beautiful and so true. I thank you from the bottom of my heart : ) love and big hugs Netia XXX

  4. Julie Hocking says:

    Hi Netia
    We have arrived back to cold old Melbourne and finally catching up with your amazing journey. Not long to go now. You have both done so well. LOVE your photos!! Knew you would fall in love with Italy. Such a beautiful place. Enjoy the final days of your trip…..and soak up the warm weather!!
    Looking forward to catching up with you soon. Love Julie xox

  5. wheresnetia says:

    Hi Julie!! Sounds like your trip was wonderful, can’t wait to hear all your news: ) All great here!! XXXX

  6. jacqueline buchanan says:

    Not long now Netia. You and Jo have done brilliantly. Look after yourselves. Eat plenty of greens and drink loads of water. Cut down on coffee bread and dessert. We’re all rooting for you girls. xx

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