Tuesday, 10 May 2016


Back in late February I wrote a blog about the neglected state of the CAI00 trail between Santa Maria del Castello and the Forestale building.

I returned there last Sunday and was delighted to find that all but one of the tree trunks obstructing the path, (and that a very small one which anyone could get over), had been removed,  and that the terrace around the Forestale building had been cleaned and tidied. In fact there were even a few hikers sitting at the table enjoying their picnic lunch. So that is good news.
The entire trail was spectacular, the views embellished by a multitude of flowers to the sides of the path: an abundance of spontaneous orchids, bushes of pink and white cistus flowers and lovely scented broom. The vegetation has certainly bounced back with a vengeance since the fire a couple of years ago.

We had hiked to Santa Maria del Castello from Monte Pertuso, following the CAI131 trail up the Valle Pozzo. This was another path I hadn't frequented for some time, put off by reports that it had become impracticable. It hasn't. However someone seems to have taken it upon themselves to try and obliterate, or at least "mute", the red/white CAI sign indicating the turning at the base of the valley. The sign is now pale pink, easy to miss and in any case quite discouraging. Take no notice!  
All is well, and  although there were a couple of places where you had to watch your feet,  and one tiny stretch where the vegetation was invading (but not obliterating) the path, it was incredibly pleasant and more than feasible, so do not be put off.
We had one major surprise along the way: in a rock pool at the crossing of the valley we found a turtle. I have no idea how it came to be there and I am not sure who was more surprised, but there it was, and it even swam towards us as we were staring at it in disbelief.
 Click here for lots more photos of the hike.