Monday, 4 June 2012

Wild Strawberries

This Saturday, the weather and my health were finally working in my favour, so A and I decided to go on a day trip to the mountains, something we hadn't done for a long time. We had a look in our book for something new and turistico because I'm not yet feeling capable of hiking. We found what seemed perfect, though it was a bit confusing as it said "short walk" and "2 hours."

However this seems to be totally normal in Italian guidebooks and websites, where despite the fact that Italians don't like walking, and would rather wait for a bus for 10 mins than walk 10 mins, anything I would consider quite difficult is listed as medium or easy. The lack of medium length walks is quite frustrating.

If you do go walking you get up at 5am and drive to the mountains so as to be setting off by 7am. Then you walk until about 3 in the afternoon probably climbing over a 1000m. Hence I am very much suspicious of even "tourist" walks. My idea of a tourist walk is a track you could take a pushchair or your grandmother down.

It turned out a success, though not in the way we expected. We decided on going to see a large cave up in the hills. The track up from the village was pretty steep, so we left the car at the bottom, but it was very very pretty. The dappled shade meant that there was everything from ferns to hundreds of wild strawberries all over the banks.

On occasion you got a glimpse of a very promising view.

Once we got to the path going to the cave it started to feel like we were entering the jungle. It was sticky and green and there were creepers falling from the trees. Curiously there was no-one around.

Within twenty minutes we saw the rock walls looming and we knew we must be close. Alas, I spied orange tape. "That won't be very good for the photos," I thought. But even worse was the sign. The cave was shut. There had been a landslide and we couldn't even see it.

At the cafe later we asked when it was going to open again. They didn't know if or when. But their ice-cream, strawberries and jam tart more than made up for it. With a view like this I'll definitely be going back.

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