We wish you all a happy Christmas and a fulfilling New Year!!

Our blog has to catch up with reality, we are in fact more than 1000km further South by now, but here is a chapter about a fantastic Weekend at the hot springs of Saturnia.

Love, Ruth & Frank


Ever since our time in the hot springs in Ourense last November, we’ve been on the hunt for more. After passing Grosseto, we follow a winding road into the heart of southern Tuscany, up some steep hills we find this beautiful steaming set of 14 pools, with the water cascading down in between.



Saturnia is the most famous hot spring in Tuscany. When looking for a place to park, we learn a tough lesson about reversing into a busy road: a) even if the traffic is busy, don’t rush, and b) the person behind the van is looking after the traffic safety and cannot take care of the offside front at the same time.

As Frank is turning the wheel, the van swings out and with some gusto into a low metal barrier, which he couldn’t see, and neither could I, being behind the van on the other side. The contact bends the right hand front step to the cab at 45 degrees and then hooks behind the fibre glass section of the front bumper and breaks it off. Ouch!!! We temporarily fix the bumper with duct tape and count our blessings that while a third of the bumper has come off, the lights in it are unscathed and all still working. Emma ‘limps’ off to a campsite nearby and to get over the shock, we go and immerse ourselves in the hot springs.

In fact, as it is the weekend, we can’t do any repairs anyway, so we decide to just forget about it for the moment and enjoy this extraordinary hot spring. For the next two days, we spend hours and hours languishing in the various pools.

I get into a different frame of mind when I spend a lot of time in hot water – it somehow connects me to my deepest feelings and opens me up. I feel so blessed to be with Frank, to share all these incredible experiences, to feel so connected and in love. Radiating out from that central feeling of love, it is such a pleasure to meet people and share our joy of life with others.

On Monday, just as we are thinking of leaving, we start talking to the family who have arrived on the campsite that morning, and find out that the guy used to do car bodywork. He offers to help us with straightening Emma’s step, and we have a lesson in how to use a hydraulic jack to push metal back into place. Incredible how one meets the right people in the right moment! Emma looks almost as good as new, although she will need some spot welding before we can actually use the step again, plus we’ll need to find someone who can secure the bumper a bit better than our duct tape job.

We are glad to leave this camp site… the woman running it seems to loathe her job; every contact with campers seems an intrusion into her private sphere. It must be hell to run a place like this if you you’re not a ‘people-person’.

For our photos of Saturnia go to our flikr album.

We drive into the setting sun. The first 20km are still typically Tuscan, rolling hills and beautiful woodlands, but then the landscape opens up and gives way to large fields and we are back on the motorway, towards Civitavecchia, where we arrive just in time to take a boat to Sicily.

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