Thursday, January 31, 2013

Buona Giornata for a Calabrian Hike

Does this look like the worst day of the year?
We haven't heard this locally, but according to columnists on the net, the last days of January in Italy are i giorni della meria--the days of the blackbird--the worst weather of the winter. It also contains the day of my birthday which all my life meant to celebrate by ice skating, skiing or holing up in a bowling alley or bar. This year, as luck would have it, we got to take a lovely hike in the sun.
Gotta love Calabria. We do think that February is the worst month. It just rains a lot--usually with sunny interludes but it's a great month to escape to even more sunny climes. From here that means the Canary Islands, Egypt, Morocco, or more tropical places like Thailand, India, and Sri Lanka. Sunday we leave for Sri Lanka. Our Italian language teacher says many Italians vacation there. If you don't know where it is, it used to be called Ceylon and it's a big island just off the shore of India in the Indian Ocean--anyway back to our hike.
Our favorite beaches in the area are in San Nicola Arcella and Praia a Mare. This particular hike is from the San Nicola side of a large rock outcrop.

This tour boat owner uses his driveway for drydock!

We parked at what in the summer is a lively lido where all the teenagers in the town love to meet each other and have fun on the beach. Aside from us this day, there were four other people there enjoying the day. It was very, very nice. 

Someone (probably the owner of the lido) spent a lot of time and money creating a lovely stone-staired walk to a hidden grotto only to have it closed because of rock fall danger. We don't usually worry about such things coming from a rocky place in Oregon, but for the Italians to put up a closure sign meant to us that something bad happened. We did see giant fallen rocks along the path and didn't feel like lingering near the overhangs any too long. The closure was violated years ago and the trail is used by many in the summer. Didn't spot any "ships" on the trail!

We avoided this steep trail last summer when it was so hot. Perfect this winter day.

Our daily exercise on the steps of Santa Domenica Talao certainly help for taking hikes like these. Makes it kinda routine. 
I assume the same pose while going uphill in the village which prompts the locals to ask me if something is wrong with my back. Maybe a little, but mostly it's my answer to where to put my hands.
This beach is covered by thousands of people in July and August. Four other people near top of photo.

The entrance to the grotto with trail on top

Doug got his picture taken this time.
He likes those pictures of nice days in the winter--for looking forward to the next one? All in all, it was a great new way to spend my winter birthday.


  1. So beautiful! I want to visit that beach when we are there in October. Happy birthday Di! You look lovely and happy.

    Have a wonderful trip to Sri Lanka - I look forward to photos and stories.


  2. Thank you, Laura,
    Have no real idea
    Of what our vacation will be like, which is a good start. First stop Dubai airport.

  3. Sounds and looks like a beautiful hike.

    Hope you have a fabulous time in Sri Lanka.

  4. Thanks, Sue
    We're back from Sri Lanka now...will write about it...



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