Saturday, 16 November 2013

FARA SAN MARTINO 20km HIKING TRAIL


90% of the time the weather here in the Appenines of Abruzzo is as near to perfect as it's possible to get.  The seasons are just as they should be, deep powder in the winter, glorious sunshine all summer long.  




The remaining 10%, however, leaves you in absolutely no doubt whatsoever why Abruzzo is both the greenest and wildest region of all of Italy.  The last 5 days have given us a significant portion of that 10%, and a serious dose of cabin fever as a result.

But one day last week, no rain, and a brief but tentative respite.  So we took full advantage to banish the blues and got out onto the hills.  

Or, rather, through a gorge and up and over the gorge; we skirted a mountain, went across the ridge, down and round the other side and back to where we started.  20km, over 1600m of climbing and 8 hours later we had an amazing day and another route for the Kokopelli portfolio of self-guided hikes.

Sadly most of it was done in thick cloud so the pictures are fairly shite (as were our views).  What it did give us, however, was a real assault on our senses.  We may not have been able to see beyond our noses but, my goodness, we could certainly sense where we were.  From subtle changes in the feel of the air around us, to the roaring sounds of cascading water way below, we knew when we were on the edge of something spectacular, if only we could see through the fog.  

Rock face looming spookily into view

Another unexpected surprise of poor visibility came when we lost daylight and made our final descent by torchlight.  The lights of Fara San Martino a long way down below, and Casoli on the hill in the distance, was magical indeed.  What was truly fascinating was the vastness of the De Cecco pasta factory, never before seen from above and all lit up like that.  It was just like looking down on the lights of the airport as you come into land.  Amazing.

A wonderful circular hike into an incredible gorge.  But, please, not to be recommended in fog and dark.  Choose your weather carefully and you'll have a day to remember.


Detailed self-guided trip notes are free to all who stay with us:  www.kokopellicamping.co.uk

... and there's a bottle of Prosecco waiting in the fridge for all who complete at least 3 of our hikes (regardless of season)!  http://kokopelli-italy.blogspot.it/2013/03/spring-hikers-wanted.html

Here are the pics (for what they're worth).  We could do with some better ones, so if anyone fancies it let us know.