Thursday, 27 April 2017

Monte Forato

Over the Easter break I climbed  Monte Forato in the Tuscan Garfagnana region. The Woodlander had lured me on the walk with the promise of a stupendous natural arch at the top which enables you to look through the mountain and over to the sea. She also mentioned there would be some hiking involved in an upward fashion but nothing too difficult. She was right about the arch and about the upward but not about the difficult.

Official Pointer
It was hard, especially for a lady who has not hiked for a while. But the nice thing was that neither the Woodlander nor her two dogs put me under any pressure to go any faster than I could which made the whole experience very enjoyable. Much more so than previous hiking experiences I have had in my life where people who are faster than me put pressure on me to keep up. I am a slow hiker.

I have always been a slow hiker. I don't mind going at my own pace but I hate it when people wait ahead for me, tapping their toes impatiently, and taking breaks just to wait for me only to decide we should continue when I finally reach them again. Just because I am slow doesn't mean i don't still need breaks. But none of this happened today. We just ambled in our own ways up through the forest and the scree. I was designated official pointer of things because of my hiking stick and there was plenty to point at for sure.

Woodlander ambling ahead
Catching my breath

When we reached the top there was indeed a stupendous natural arch which all four of us did our best not to tumble through.

Arch stupendissimo

Waiting for the slow coach

Gleeful Woodlander
We then lay on the ground and cracked walnuts with rocks.

Celebrated our triumph!

Reminisced about the tough parts with the dog!

Did some general pointing!

It really was so beautiful and peaceful to be up in the mountains. I had forgotten how lovely it is to hear mountains breathe.

"At , the serenity."

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