Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Sunday, 4 July 2010

A Walk in the Woods

The noise from last night's Saturday night disco at Pieve di Ledro was most effectively drowned (if you'll excuse the pun) by the torrential rain that arrived shortly after we had enjoyed our picnic by Lago di Ledro under darkening skies. The rain followed a fine display of sheet lightning, and 'around sound' thunder that would have done Ginger Baker proud.

Suffice to say - we slept well in the TN Hyperspace, which is without doubt the smallest tent on the site.

Our day started as always on this trip. Slowly. This is a leisurely break, with the health of Sue's neck a primary concern. The neck has been a bit better of late, and setbacks aren't welcome, hence the short walks and frequent B&B accommodation.

We finally set off at 10.30, flower guide in hand, under another clear blue sky, up the steep surfaced track to San Martino chapel. It was hot again. Some mountain bikers ground slowly past, traveling only marginally faster than us. A few other hikers passed by as we sat in the roadway feverishly trying to identify different Broomrapes and Orchids. Succulent strawberries (Sue says ours are nicer than yours, Mark!) lined our route, giving rise to further delay.

Eventually, long after joining a delightful woodland path (#456), the chapel appeared, on a small promontory. Unusually, it was a bit unkempt and decrepit - hopefully a bit of TLC will soon sort it out though.

The following wooded belvedere along #456 at around 1300 metres was an absolute delight. Reasonably not too hot (cool it was not) above steep drops through the woods, with occasional views to Lago di Ledro and Lago di Garda in the distance. Still hazy, but last night's rain had certainly cleared the air a little.

The path was being used by brave mountain bikers. We stepped aside and were always thanked for our trouble. Cyclists and walkers coexist quite happily on these paths.

Sue saw a large adder - it probably wouldn't appreciate being run over by a mountain bike.

An eagle soared high (very high) above us.

We enjoyed the welcome shade afforded by the trees.

By and by we reached Malga Giu, a junction from where we could have continued to Tremalzo in a couple of hours. But we headed down #419 and then took a side track to the Santa Anna chapel, which has recently been lovingly restored as a shrine to Paolo Arnoldi (5 June 1990 - 26 September 2009). Very sad.

After that we thought it would be downhill all the way. It was down Val Scaglia. Landslides appear to have terrorized this valley since the 1930s, and much pride has been taken in recent, not inconsiderable, efforts to stabilize the area. They seem to be working.

After the steep, gravelly descent of Val Scaglia, during which we met a man hiking in just swimming trunks and trail shoes (we are in a heat wave, after all) the gentle tarmac of Pian di Pur was most welcome. Sunday afternoon picnics and barbecues were in full swing.

The 100 metre ascent up what we expected to be a lakeside road was less welcome, and by the time we reached camp at 6pm we'd clocked up 14km and about 900 metres ascent in around 7.5 hours, including many 'flower stops'.

We carry no food stocks - subject to one notable exception our itinerary and catering is never planned more than a couple of hours ahead. So whilst I brewed up, Sue went off to buy dinner. She soon returned. The supermarket that had been open last night and this morning was shut. It's Sunday.

The pizzas at Pizzeria Al Lago were excellent...

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Jealous. Wish I was on holiday with you. Can't believe you've left us behind! Happy memories of Verona esp the arena and the tower climb. Counting the days down to Kandersteg.
Al back from safely from "project 200" he has added 11 to the list despite shocking weather. A&K can now get down the chill factor nursery slope upright & in control (v proud parent!). I have stayed at home as usual.