Oh, goody! Richard said I get to write the blog tonight since he and Mike are languishing in the quaint town of Chianciano Terme, which means "Town of Well Being". The town is renowned for the liver restoring powers of the local waters which makes perfect sense to me as it seems a logical offset to enjoying copious amounts of good Chianti! Before they retired to their respective rooms in a 4-star hotel, the gentlemen dined on exquisite Italian cuisine, partook of the local wine, then had two-hour massages followed by mudpacks and a facial. Okay, okay! So they didn't do that...but I would if I were stranded there! Some guys have all the luck. Hmph! This town is only 10KM from Pienza where some scenes from the movie, "The Gladiator" were filmed. This will be on a trivia test at the end of the contest.
The part about the town....that's true...and now I'll tell you the rest of the story. It all started when Mike landed out in a particularly nice wheatfield which Richard described as "great to land in but s_ _ t to get out of". Richard found Mike easily enough and proceeded to drive down ('down' being the operative word here) for the retrieve. With the soft ground and empty trailer the going was tough but they loaded the glider and headed out of the field. Then headed out again, and again. Turns out the field consisted of a lot of rolling hills and only two exits neither of which their 2-wheel drive vehicle could use. This was only discovered after almost 2 hours of driving and scouting on foot. The trailer was abandoned and the guys got in the car and made a run uphill and proceeded to look for a place to stay. Richard had contacted Giorgio back in Rieti and there would be a 4-wheel drive vehicle sent to fetch Mike's plane in the morning.
After debriefing over a good pizza dinner, Richard and Mike found a very nice hotel in the town at only $41 euros for their rooms with a view. They made the acquaintance of the proprietor who not only offered to help them find a Jeep to pull the glider out of the field, but shared a bottle of wine and some pleasant conversation. I love this about Italy....you never feel like a stranger there. Hopefully as I write this, the guys are getting some much needed rest in preparation for getting Mike back to Rieti and launched for the final day of the contest.
As for me, after Richard reads this, I'll probably never be allowed to write in his blog again! Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.