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Wednesday, 7 January 2015

HIGHLIGHTS OF 2014



The other day I was going through my photographs trying to select those best illustrating our hikes in 2014. It wasn’t easy.
There are some walks that are ever present – Punta Campanella and San Costanzo, Jeranto, Monte Vico Alvano and Monte Comune, the Sirenuse Trail, the Path of the Gods, to name just a few. Sometimes I am asked “don’t you get bored of repeating the same trails over and over again?” I can reply with an emphatic "no". Each single walk is unique. There are so many varying factors: the season, the time of day, the weather, the company, not to mention chance encounters along the way: flowers, birds, butterflies, lizards, the occasional snake, an immense variety of bugs and of course fellow-walkers from all over the world.
Concert at sundown - Pizzetiello
However there are three hikes from 2014 that particularly stand out.
The first was at the end of July and was a late afternoon hike up part of the Sirenuse Trail to Pizzetiello. There we were treated to the strains of Verdi’s 4 Seasons, played by a group of string musicians at sundown, their backdrop the sea and the Amalfi Coast. The combination of the scenery and the music was sublime.
View from Conocchia - Faito
The second was a June hike to Faito. My brother and his wife were here on holiday and we wanted to show them something different. So we drove all the way up to the crest of Faito before making our way on foot  through the woods to Casa del Monaco where we enjoyed the first amazing views of the peninsula. It was a hot sunny day, but we all made it up the Conocchia and on to the Molare. From there we wound our way down the other side of the hill and back to our starting point. The day was a beauty and the views incomparable. I never tire of seeing the look of wonder on people’s faces when they see the views from here and my brother and  his wife did not disappoint.
View from Monte Sant'Angelo
The third hike was the realization of a personal ambition. I had always wanted to get to the top of Monte Sant'Angelo, the hill above Alberi overlooking the plain of Sorrento. How many times had I looked at it from down in Sorrento wondering what it would be like up there. In mid August we decided to give it a try, setting off from Arola and making our way to Alberi. We continued along the lanes towards Montechiaro, cutting up through the olive terraces, following our instincts rather than any particular path, in the hope that we would end up where we wanted to be. All of a sudden we came out onto a grassy plateau. We walked over to a deserted and ramshackle country house perched on the edge of the cliff and there before us was the whole of Sorrento, stretching out far below, the island of Capri peeping out in the distance. It was breathtaking, exceeding all expectations.
We look forward to an equally rewarding  2015.





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