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Friday, 30 December 2016

2016 - A GOOD YEAR FOR HIKING IN MASSA LUBRENSE.

Giro to Santa Croce - view of Capri
So 2016 is rapidly drawing to an end and if I manage  to take to the hills tomorrow , I will have hiked the trails and lanes  of Massa Lubrense and the Amalfi Coast an impressive 63 times over the course of the year. If you also consider two holidays, (one in Corfu and the other in Gran Canaria), where walking played an important role, I can only conclude that at least for me this has been an excellent year!
On the way to Jeranto
Several itineraries have figured more often than others,   mainly due to the fact that they are practically on my doorstep, but they are also all particularly spectacular and rewarding.  I am very lucky to live where I do.
The Giro di Santa Croce from Termini is perhaps my favourite, with its splendid views of  the island of Capri and the entire Bay of Naples as you emerge from the woods. Fairly new to the local trail circuit, it has become popular not only with the locals but also with several foreign walking holiday companies. Everyone I have spoken to or accompanied has been enthusiastic about it.
View from Sirenuse Trail
Jeranto comes next - here in the warmer months you can combine the hike with a swim, and if you go really early, the bay will be yours. 
Third on my list of local hikes  has to be the Sirenuse Trail, starting off in Sant'Agata, passing through  the village of Torca and then winding its way above the coast. The small grassy plateau of Pizzitiello is perfect for a picnic lunch  giving you marvelous views both towards Capri and  down the Amalfi Coast.
There are many more possible routes, including the new country village walk between Sant'Agata sui Due Golfi and Massa Lubrense which is delightful, giving you a taste of  authentic Italy, away from the mass tourism of nearby Sorrento. 
We were blighted by some really bad fires over the summer, the most destructive devastating the entire ridge from Monte San Costanzo to Punta Campanella. However nature has bounced back with a vengeance, and whilst  the charred remains of shrubs and trees still scar  the landscape, the lower vegetation has grown back greener and lusher than ever. I can't wait for springtime to see what it brings!
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Sunday, 4 December 2016

A SHORT WALK TOWARDS JERANTO - a few observations and questions.


This morning, only having a short amount of time available and being unable to resist a walk on a such beautifully warm and sunny morning, I decided to go towards Jeranto.

It was the first time I had ventured there since the fire at the end of August. Here are just a few very brief observations:
- in some places the fire had actually passed right over the path and down the other side of the hillside. Whilst the lower vegetation is now green, the burnt shrubs and trees still cast a shadow on the landscape.

- there is no evidence of rock fall, or at least no more than usual, and this despite some heavy rain over the past few months. 

- how long is it going to take the local Council to re-open the path officially? I am very aware that it doesn't necessarily depend on them, however we are now in December and will soon be half way  through the winter. Moreover, if they do want people to be dissuaded, then they need to do something about the barriers and the signs (basically there are none anymore). I met several people along the trail.

- the infamous solar panels and cabinet perched on the rock at one of the view points are of course still there (there were requests that they should be moved to a more discreet location being an eyesore). However one of the panels is now all cracked and the cabinet, which before emitted a buzzing sound, is silent. Does this mean that there is no monitoring over the winter and it is switched off, or is it in fact broken and therefore destined to be left there to posterity until it rusts?


- whilst I was walking back up the hill,  a motor boat sailed happily into the protected Marine Reserve of the Bay of Jeranto and anchored. From what I could see, I do not think that they were there to analyse the water....more like preparing to fish, so doubly in defect. It is a pity that some people have a complete disregard for the environment.



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