Thursday, May 19, 2011
Stage 1 Hotel at the top of the hill
This morning was organized chaos trying to get all the riders into a photo and then get everyone organized for a group ride out of Terrasini. One of the staff lead us through the madness of the little town with the narrow streets and a much of cars. However as we were in a big group the cars just had to stop and let us pass. Most of the drivers didn’t seem to mind as everyone is waving and smiling and yelling “Gratcia” It seems like everyone is keen to practice their Italian. There is lots of “Si” and “No” along with “Prego” which is some sort of fill in type of word.
The ride itself was though some very rural country side which was very rugged. There were lots of farms which seemed to be farming everything from cattle to onions. There were also lots of grape vines, lemon orchards and olive groves. The really neat thing was these ancient fountains which are used to fill water containers for the local residents. I know you have seen pictures of them in the stuff on the Romans. I forgot to take a photo of one as it was so hot (33C) when I pulled in all I wanted to do was soak my hair and have a big drink. The water was so cool and wonderful.
One of the towns on the ride was Corleone. It was made famous by the FBI investigations into th Cosa Nostra and Don Corleone a.k.a. the Teflon Don. It is actually a very rural hill community. I am sure that this little town was more than a little surprised to be thrust into fame. It looks like the town is very old.
The ride was only 103 kms however the hills and the heat conspired to absolutely pooch me. The last 3 kms was almost straight up hill to this little resort which is built on top of this hill. The Pigna d’oro Country Hotel is build on some old monestry grounds. There is huge chapel which can be seen for miles.
So it was a tough first day but what a day.