Another rest day was promised to our little intrepid travellers and this was a proper rest day, not even a bit of tourism.  I walked into town to pick up some lunch with my daughter and stopped and had a drink in the square.  I had always wanted to try an espresso in Italy and this was my moment.  I am glad I had tried it and ticked it off the list, but not something I would be trying again!  It was like a shot of burnt pencil shavings mixed with bitumen.  I am sure it was me at fault rather than the cafe, but it was way too much caffeine for me to take.

I had so much liquid energy that I couldn’t sit still and decided to go for a run in the afternoon.  I am preparing for a Half Marathon later in the year and wanted to try running in the heat to see what I could learn.  What I learnt is that it is bloody hard work!  I ran a lap of the town and was going to try for a second but, as I ran past a couple of old ladies sat on the wall chatting, I was sure that they had tried to stop me to talk.  I couldn’t be sure as I had my headphones in and as I ran away past them I was worried in case I offended them.  So, I turned and ran back towards them and home.  The lizards that were lazing at the side of the road scattered as I got close, I think they were trying to work out what the hurry was and why an idiot was running in the midday sun.

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As I got closer to the ladies, I was proved right, they had been trying to get me to stop and so I took off my headphones and chatted with them. Well, I say chatted, we didn’t have a clue what each other was saying but we used sign language, smiles and hand gestures to make our points.  I think they were saying that they lived locally and had been born in the valley below but I will never know that for sure.  It didn’t matter.  They were friendly and I was delighted that they wanted to chat with me, it felt like home.  As the sweat dripped into my eyes and burnt and stung them to distraction, the ladies were shouting ‘Giro, Giro’ which I have worked out meant that they wanted me to do another lap!  It was great having a fan club, but I couldn’t have done another lap if I had tried…..once you stop running for any length of time it’s hard to start again.

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As it got to early evening, we decided to head off the hill for dinner and head towards Latina, the main town below Sermoneta, to see if we could find a family restaurant.  We promised to stop at the first one we found.  We ended up driving, and driving and driving without passing anything that looked open or decent and we ended up in an area on the outskirts of Latina that looked remarkably like the scenery in video game Grand Theft Auto.  We hadn’t eaten pizza for a good half hour or so, so we piled into a place that was modern and bright and huge inside, opening up like a Tardis. Loads of Italian families were meeting up and the longest table must had had 30 people at it, and they seem to be sitting in age order from oldest at the top down to the kids at the other end.  I am sure that the older end of the table were looking at the kids with chips on their pizza, (Yes, ON their pizza, not WITH their pizza) and had a little internal ‘tut’. The seven of us ate like kings and it was only 57 EUR, off the tourist track was the place to be for a tight old bugger like me!

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