Tour de Toscane 2011: Siena – Buonconvento

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Yesterday I forgot to use suntan cream and my arms will happily remember that for some days on. The temperature went down a bit, say below 30, so I had to get to the hottest area around here in order to compensate.

Yesterday I cycled in the so-called Crete Senesi, a region also known as the Accano desert, which tells everything. It’s in the area south from Siena and it’s completely different from the green hills of Chianti, which is from Siena to the north. Crete Senesi is yellow and white in this time (creta means clay, and the soil is largely made of it), and a few trees at the horizon. I also manage to get an off-road track I couldn’t find even in Google Maps (that’s the reason a part of the track below is wrong). However, the route took me to Monteroni d’Alba and from there up up and up hill (and off road) towards San Martino in Grania, with no trees and as a matter of fact, nobody around. Which is good as there were no cards, but at a certain point I felt really there’s nobody anywhere. Fortunately I managed to get back to a main road, and I reached the village of Asciano.

It was 14 o’ clock and I was wondering whether to get back to Siena or continue. Well, I decided to get to Abbazia di Monte Oliveto Maggiore, as it was highlighted on the guidebook. Here I found myself in trouble with the GPS, as it was telling me a different route than the roadsigns. I decided that the roadsings are more reliable and I ended up to the highes peak of the area (Chiusure), had I taken the other route maybe I would have sweated less.

Fortunately, from Chiusure to Buonconvento it was all downhill and I manage to get a nice small train (with air conditioning, oh yes), to get back from Siena. It’s great that you can put the bike on any local train around here, I don’t have to think about the time it takes to get back to Siena (and with all these hills it is really a relief).

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