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Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Our friend the cat

Well this morning we left our accommodation in Pudiluco and stopped for breakfast in a small cafe overlooking the beautiful lake and watched the Italian rowing squad training. The first part of today's walk took us through the National Rowing Centre and we were looking forward to a pleasant day in bright sunshine. The guide said to go along the flat and then uphill to Labro. What it didn't say was that Labro was on top of a mountain and the path was very steep, overgrown with vegetation and badly marked. It took us over one and a half hours of hard effort and a strange thing happened on the way. We had come to a fork in the path with no markings to indicate the way. Out of nowhere a golden coloured cat appeared and took the left fork, the cat came back and rubbed against us, so we followed it. The cat went in front of us for about 3K, at times turning around to walk between our feet, until we finally reached a bend in the path and the fountain of Wrasse appeared in front of us. We were on the right road and the cat turned around and went back down the path. At one point today, somewhere in the mountains we crossed from the region of Umbria to that of Lazio. We kept climbing through the quiet villages of Glues and Ruccilo that seemed completely deserted. We saw the cross of St. Francis and then the famous Beech of St Francis but quite honestly by that time I had lost the will to live. After all the hours of climbing the descent into the Holy Valley of Reite is equally as hard. Today's walk was said to be about 20K so you can imagine our surprise when at 2.30 we reached a crossroads that informed us that our nights destination in the Santuary ot Poggio Bustone was still 11K away. The last 2K into Poggio Bustone is sharp uphill and I don't think we would have made it if it hadn't been for the help and support of three young Italian chefs. When they heard what we had walked they thought we had covered about 34K and I must say it felt long. They would need to get distances and signs sorted out for this walk because it really isn't funny when you are doing it. Tomorrow is short and from our cliff top position we can see the lights of tomorrow's destination.

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