Monday, 17 October 2016

Tim from Cumbria in Umbria!

Civitello del Lago to Acqualoreto, Tuesday 12th October 2016 – 11k

Well to stay I was very cold in the Agriturismo would be an understatement, with no heating on it was an uncomfortable night and there was no food being served, so I ate all my meagre supplies and put on most of my clothes to sleep.

I was looking forward to breakfast but again I was to be disappointed as it was a meagre affair. I was reminded of what my Italian friend Carlo told me recently that not even Italians understand Italians! I asked my host for an espresso doppia (a double espresso) and was greeted with a bemused look. “A café grande”? was the response. Not wishing to enter any further confusion I just replied “Si” hoping I was not going to get an americano – I didn't thankfully. With four half slices of bread, some home made jam and two pieces of cake, I stuffed my face and paid the bill. Thankfully the advertised price of €60 which I'd have been horrified to pay was not requested, but €40 was. A suitable review on will be written.

The sun was shining today but in the shade it was definitely cool enough to have a jumper on. "Halfway up the 2k ascent to Civitella del Lago my jumper was off. Civitella was a very nice, quaint medieval village with breathtaking views across the valley from every direction. I called into the local café for an extra shot of espresso, a marmalade croissant for second breakfast and added two litres of water and some crème waffles just in case I needed some extra energy.

With breakfast over I headed out of the village and was soon in the middle of the woods as I steadily ascended yet another tree filled valley. The path was easy to follow, a white stone track with the now familiar GR signposts. I always find it strange to see cars on these tracks especially as they are not usually four wheeled drive jobbies. I passed such a car and then came across the owner scrabbling about in the undergrowth, I assumed looking for mushrooms or other such delights that grace the countryside.

I pressed on, eventually to reach the top and skirted the hillside before a pick up truck came my way making me move to one side to let it pass. I completed this manoeuvre one my time as it came back my way to descend the hill and the same direction I was now following. Five minutes later and deep in thought admiring the view and taking pleasure in the crunch of the horse chestnut cases and fruits below my feet, the truck returned making me move to one side again as it struggled to grip the muddy, stony track.

Once again I was rewarded with a breathtaking view down a small valley as I reached a clearing and my journey now took me down a very narrow, steep, slippery, stony track. On my map and GPS I was once again off piste and relying on the GR signs when I came across them and the contour of the land to identify where I was. More than once I went one way when in actual fact it was the other way, but I guess that is to be expected when you are trying to map out another new footpath for others to follow.

Eventually I arrive at the village of Mozzero and again I was faced with trying to find the track. I knew where I wanted to be, I was within metres of the path but I could not make it out anywhere. Again this is fairly typical of some of the paths I am trying to follow. I gave up the n frustration and retraced my steps to take what are now familiar white roads on the path and in reality little more than up aced tracks used by cars. On the outskirts of the village I came across an elderly lady and a young bearded man and British Land Rover in the garden. I promptly asked who it belonged to and the lady was from America and retired to the village and the young man – Tim was from Cockermouth in the Lake District of England. We chatted a little and he pointed out that in the village I was heading to, there was not only a good restaurant but on Wednesday night they have a foreigners night. It's a shame I was not hanging around.

Tim gave me directions to the village of Acquloreto and true to his word I was soon on the right path once more and within less than an hour I was happily walking into the centre of the village and the end of a good day. I took advantage of a seat around a monument in the sun, took my shoes off and emptied them of quite a lot of detritus that had made its way into my shoes. Tomorrow is another day and hopefully my Agriturismo tonight will turn out to be much improve Do!

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