Siena to Ponte d’Arbia 28k A muddy day down the Arbia valley

The weather forecast of heavy rain all day translated into just one heavy shower, unfortunately it occurred as we were descending a slippery track.
The recent rain has meant we have been exposed to many varieties of mud today, clingy, slippy, sloshy……….the list goes on.
We set off on tarmac through a giant city gateway and on through the industrial zones that surround most big cities until we reach countryside again.
We enjoy views back to Siena for most of the day, while the views forward are of rolling hills and dark skies as we walk.
The fortified farm buildings of Grancia di Cuna provide the only historical interest of the day, the huge  originally medieval structure is swathed in scaffolding, so there is little to see except the gatehouse we exit through.
As far as fauna goes, we see handsome roman ( edible ) snails, a distant glimpse of turtle doves and a at least 5 moorhen chicks squeeking and pecking away in a ditch beside the road under the watchful eye of their mother.
As for flora they are some flowers we are going to ask your help to identify. The hairy flower stalk had no leaves so we suppose they must be saprophytes although they were growing on the edge of one of the many fields of corn we pass today.
After the final few kilometres of muddy track beside the railway, we cross the brown waters of the River Arbia on a specially constructed pilgrim footbridge only 3 years old and find tonight’s hostel.

Link to where we are on Google Maps

One thought on “Siena to Ponte d’Arbia 28k A muddy day down the Arbia valley”

  1. Hi Bets, Tony and Ray,
    I think the above plant is a parasitic plant from the genus conophilis? Sp. I saw a very similar plant today in Stackpole growing with ivy. If I’m correct its orobanche

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