Day 23 – rain and olive oil

The day started early today with a thunderstorm overhead. We had a brief interlude to allow us to go to breakfast (truly excellent incidentally); then more rain which we had a great view of from our covered terrace; two quick cycle rides of 20 minutes each during two short breaks in the downpour; and more rain.

Tilly’s riding lesson had to be held in the indoor arena – they have fantastic facilities here. This time, they put her on an extremely lively 17 hand horse and were planning a jumping lesson. This horse tested her ability fully…and beyond. At first, Tilly looked majestic as she galloped around the arena. Tilly manage to stay on after 3 full minutes of her horse trying to throw her off (she has a career in rodeo ahead of her). Understandably, she wanted to get off after that, saying “I’m too high from the ground”. The other pupil, a (blonde) Italian woman of great ability, was majestic in her jumping, but (male) teacher had to show her how to do it better and higher. He did get the horse to do seemingly impossible things though, and I’ll never say again that it’s the horse that does all the work. Tilly then finished the lesson on the other girl’s horse. The horses and the facilities in this backwater of Italy are several times better than anything I’ve seen in Surrey. This is another sport we will not win any medals in at future Olympic games.

The best part of an uneventful day was Lorna’s olive oil and wine tasting lesson. This was billed as a one hour session. Lorna knew it would be conducted in Italian, but argued that drinking wine was drinking wine. After a very dull day at looking at the rain falling from the sky, she was really looking forward to it. Two hours into the (one hour) lesson, Lorna was forced to escape. The first lecturer had talked at the attendees for two hour about olive oil; the wine was uncorked (but untasted and undiscussed). Lorna put a positive spin on the experience. She claimed she had learnt a lot of Italian. I find this difficult to believe and, if she did, how often would you need to know the Italian for virgin? …. let alone extra virgin.

The weather forecast for the next two days in Southern Europe is horrendous. We have taken the decision to move on early from this leg of our journey. It’s a great place (in good weather). New location tomorrow.

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