Friday, September 11, 2009

Our summer of trekking

I know what you're thinking! You think I'm going to write about my fantastic tomato crop, or our splendid figs or the to die for potatoes.
But I'm not.... and who would die for a potato anyway? (don't answer that one, please!)

Instead this little story is about last weekend's trek/mountain climb up to the source of the river Ambro which is a hike and a half above the Sanctuary of La Madonna dal Ambro (who is really the Sybil as well we all know)
Our trusted guide and leader, Giorgio Tassi, had persuaded us that this one was a doddle; tough first ten minutes, then flat all the way. We know him well enough to translate this as (a confidence booster which really means) 'life threatening experience, stay in bed, it's safer'

The river had to crossed at least a dozen times; our Mexican friend, Sofia took the first dive and one by one we succumbed, each of us wet from the knees down, but it was OK.

The scariest part was climbing up (and then down) a sheer precipice, our only way of circumventing a blocked part of the river bed.

Here you got to wonder at the way water had eroded the gorge over millions of years and here it took some time to get the twenty of us to the top of the rope where our wondrous leaders were perched (we had four guides)
When we reached the 'Throne' itself, after more or less another hour of climbing, I know we were all in complete awe of this majestic place. My God! We've lived here for seven years and didn't have an inkling of such splendour.

So we celebrated this feeling (a sort of benevolent dreamy state) by eating a gorgeous lunch consisting of bacon and tomato rolls, Sheep cheese and a bottle of coke. Then chocolate to double up on the caffeine intake.

The journey back down was easier, except for having to re-negotiate the precipice and by this stage most of the group had given up on trying to navigate the stepping stones to cross the river, and just waded in. I think. for me at least, one of the most beautiful parts of the trek was walking besides the sound of rushing water through the sunny glades which stretched the length of the river. It's a lovely experience because eventually the mind empties itself of everything except to sounds and sights around.

So we've got the bug and we are going to join the trekking group. And this coming weekend? a trek up the Fiastrone. What a wonder that will be.

Finally a photo of some of the group taken in front of the Sanctuary