Living with intent, social engagement, learning, growing, giving
After morning coffee we headed up the trail to Chiesa Vecchia. It was a narrow and slightly overgrown trail but well worn and has obviously been used a lot over the years.
It was hot going once we lost the sea breeze and started walking deep inside the trench of the trail. I couldn’t help feeling worried about snakes (I’m Australian) but I’ve been told that the small snake skins that we saw belong to a small, timid snake.
I could feel my body temperature rising so I stopped a few times when there was shade to sip cool water, take off my hat and try not to overheat.
When we reached the top of the trail a British man surprised us by asking in English about the trail. A flippant comment about intermittent fasting led to an invitation to join the five friends for a cup of tea in the shade on their terrace. 40 minutes later I was a normal temperature again and smiling from vibrant conversation and ready to tackle anything.
We quickly glanced at the outside of the church and admired Salina Island before pushing on faster than before after taking two breaks and only having covered 10km.
We walked to Quattropani and realized that we didn’t have time to walk all the way around the island. We saw that a trail skirted around to the north of San Angelo volcano to Lami and then Canneto so we decided to try it. I wish that we had caught a bus instead!
It was barely a trail and heavily overgrown with blackberries and shrubs. Our shins were scratched to pieces. We slipped and slid on the weathered pumice, which is about as easy to walk on as ice, especially in 5 year old barefoot running shoes, which are like walking on blocks of soap.
That sounds very negative and I normally try to be positive but add the heat and humidity, uncertainty when we repeatedly lost the trail, time pressure and hunger, combined with sections of the trail that were impenetrable because of the blackberries and heavily eroded sections of the trail that we had to slip and slide around and make a 2.2m drop among blackberries onto weathered pumice on a steep slope and perhaps I can be excused for being a bit negative.
Grim faced and with teeth gritted we finally clambered out to a find a church above Lami, aptly named as a sanctuary of misery. We were extremely relieved to be back on a solid track and we walked back to Canneto as fast as we could before shopping, picking up our children, eating then swimming. As I swam about 1km that afternoon I relished in being in water and marvelled at human endurance that after hiking in those conditions for 8 1/2 hours I could still swim so far. When I’m swimming in the deep I am constantly on the lookout for sharks and other dangerous creatures that don’t exist in the Mediterranean Sea. I wonder if other Australians worry unnecessarily about such things too!