Monday, September 9, 2013

Heading South (part 2)

I met up with my schoolmate, Roberto, in his hometown, Latina. Together with a bunch of hiking fanatics we spent the weekend camping in the National Park Abruzzo - about 80km east of Rome. About 10 of us met at the camping point of Le Quiet, nearby a village called Villetta Barrea, to pitch our tents.  I really love those 2 second tents from Quechua btw. 

In the evening of the day one, there was the annual Folk Festival in another nearby village called Civitella Alfenda which was about a 25 min walk from our campsite. Sure, the performances were traditional, and nobody really practices them nowadays but it sure did draw in the crowds! I love exploring all these tiny villages amidst the mountainous terrain, because you never know what to expect! :) 

One of the performances of the Folk Festival that involves a walk around the entire village.

Villetta Barrea celebrating their feast day with a procession around the village.

The next day began at 7.30am with a warm-up walk leading to a 1,900m ascend to the top of Monte San Nicola. (Yes, Santa Claus! :D) I enjoyed the entire climb up and down.  It took nearly 6 hours and a timekeeper from the group clocked the total distance covered at 65km. It reminded me of the Camino. But my longest day was only 40km then. This trek was extremely relaxing as I was just following the crowd. In fact, I didn't even know I was going to do a climb with a long lunch break at the top, so I didn't bring my food. 

Breath-taking heights, panoramic views, good company!!! 

Lunch at one of the highest points of San Nicolo.
My team and I heading up to Monte San Nicolo.

And I tried to stop once in a while for a sketch.

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