Sunday, April 29, 2012

Bellissimo Escursione

Monte di Caccia is on the horizon at far right...the one with a "bump" on the left
It was a day of remarkable beauty, but it was also a day of bittersweet, limits, and hope. As our friend and co-hiker put it, it's one thing to look out at the beautiful mountains around you but quite another to look at them knowing you hiked there...up to the height of your limits. We spoke of Monte di Caccia in our last post, not knowing that the weather we were waiting for would be here so soon. We could not have picked a better day or better companions. We hiked with an Irish friend from Santa Domenica Talao and three new friends from the UK...although they were out of sight rather quickly. To be honest, we should have taken their pictures when they were still with us. They were such good blokes, they would have kept waiting for us (Vince and me) but we set them free. More on that later.

The cross on Monte di Caccia--the hiking goal

Our hiking goal was the site of this cross near the top of the mountain seen here through a telephoto lens. It was way too far away to see the cross in a picture from where we started. It was supposed to take two hours one way (according to a sign) but we now figure that whoever timed it was in their 20's and an avid hiker. We are not city folk, but neither are we super avid hikers or in the bloom of youth. Our dog Vince came along who is 105 in doggie years.

The trail is rated as intermediate but to get to the cross, you would have to be advanced to the point of dealing with scrambling on scree, losing the marked trail, and taking 4 hours to get there when you expected 2.

I often stood and looked at the scenery, (a trick I learned from Doug to rest--but had to use more than he did)

See the lion (or whatever) head?
As we got higher and higher, we were afforded breathtaking views with many rock outcrops such as the one above with animal or human features and views into glorious canyons. It was a perfect day, not hot, with not a breath of wind.

Our friends later reported al bar that it took them 4 hours to get to the cross, and two hours to get back to the car. So what happened to us? Doug realized that I was too slow for the wait and catch-up method, so he told the boys to go on and we kept going until Vincie did a back-flip (bad rear legs) and generally let us know he wasn't having fun anymore. We made it about 2/3 way up, about 450m/1475ft of climb. We ate lunch under pine trees looking out over the sea. On the way back, I discovered that Vince saved me from a lot of pain because I started hurting and hoping for the parking lot to reappear. What I would have been like with 2 more climbing hours under my belt, I don't know but can guess. Doug says we should go back and complete the journey at our own pace. It's bittersweet to know that our once spry Vincie won't be able to come with us but that he made it farther this time than most 15 year-old dogs could. I have hope, but not complete confidence that I could make it the next time...Happy hiking.

Vincie and I learned of our limits in a similar way


  1. Sounds like a perfect day. Congrats to Vince for his accomplishment! When I read at the beginning that you took him along I was surprised - sounds like he did well. Di, you look great!

  2. Such a very, very nice post! :-)
    Hiking can be so much work. I think you made a good decision in going as far as it is fun. Before I had no idea about dogs and how they deal with hiking, so I learned sth here.

  3. Hi Laura,
    Thanks1 Happy Birthday (belated) to Sam! Vincie slept well that night!
    Michelle, thank you, it's hard sometimes to make the decision to turn around on a hike. I'm glad we did.

  4. Thanks for sharing your wonderful adventure and pictures once again! It really looks like you had plenty of fun.

  5. Gil,
    We did! It was really a wonderful trail and a beautiful day.

  6. Looks beautiful. Maybe I'll try & hobble up IF I ever get time to visit.



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