Monday, 29 February 2016


Yesterday I returned to a trail  we once used to walk a lot, but which I hadn't been along for a couple of years: Santa Maria del Castello to the Forestale, part of the CAI100.
Apart from being superbly panoramic, with its views of Positano far below, and not particularly taxing,  it also forms part of  a selection of circular walks as well as being a means of venturing further afield such as climbing all the way up to Faito via Conocchia, or continuing beyond the rockfall (Frana) to Capo Muro, i Tre Calli and Bomerano (Agerola). 

A few years ago a particularly bad forest fire destroyed many of the trees along this route, leaving it in a state more reminiscent of a disaster zone than the green and pleasant path we were used to. Whilst it is evident that a good number of the burnt trees have been cut down and the wood removed or stashed in piles, it is very much work in progress (or rather work seemingly not in progress), since there are  still an awful lot of dead  and charred trees hanging  precariously onto the hillside, ready to fall. We had to clamber over, under or around at least 4 large tree trunks that were obstructing the trail and following today's gale-force winds, there will probably now be more. 
More distressing was the state of the Forestale building. The actual house appears to be in excellent nick and  there are now a couple of wooden tables and benches on the terrace making it a great place for a picnic lunch. However the state of the outbuildings was not a pretty sight, with one door gaping open to display a toilet full of debris  and the other revealing what can only be described as a rubbish dump. I will spare you the photos. To complete the picture, a rusty frying pan full of rain water was on the ground outside, together with a wheelbarrow. Definitely not a good impression for any hikers passing through.
I will be contacting the relevant authorities in the hope that a little spring-cleaning may be carried out before the hiking season starts.

Link to map - our hike today was the loop Positano (Corvo) - Le Tese - Santa Maria del Castello - Forestale - Monte Pertuso - Positano