Sunday, 12 July 2009
The Last Lap - La Via di Téit
La Via di Téit is a high level (approx 1500 metres) section of the L26 path from Palanfré to Vernante. It traverses a deep valley and perhaps formed an ancient mule track between the two places. It's a finely constructed way of passage. These days it appears to be used only rarely.
Our group of five comprised today's rare visitors. There was nobody else on the path, which was poorly maintained and not without obstacles - mainly deep vegetation, fallen trees, snow filled gullies, and landslide/avalanche damage.
Most of us managed to surmount these obstacles without too much difficulty, but we all now sport rashes of nettle stings, and Notchy (Andrew) looks as if he's been in a mud fight.
He had an eventful traverse, at times echoing the curses from Cardiff of the English cricketers.
"F**k" he pronounced from his soft new bed, after stumbling gracefully into a large clump of nettles.
"B****r!" was the vocal exclamation as he stropped his rucksack over the delicately poised and intricately woven branches of a large tree that had once stood proudly a few metres above the path across the steep hillside.
"******* ****" "I'm a goner this time", he swore, waving his feet a few inches above the stream below the bergshrund that he had gracefully entered via his slide down a wall of clay. He flapped uncontrollably for a while, pinned under the snow by his rucksack, until a few deep breaths facilitated his escape.
Eventually the head of the valley was reached, and Notchy emerged, battered, bruised, nettle rashed and muddied, but giddy with relief and jubilant at having made it to 'firmer ground'.
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