Saturday, September 6, 2008

trip to Vandalino

I’ve probably mentioned before but the valley is full of rock carvings. Apparently the highest concentration is to be found near the top of the mountain which looms to the west of our house. Speaking to another enthusiast apparently there are great concentrations of carvings to be found in a relatively small just below the summit. This alone would be interesting to see but from the other enthusiast’s description of some stone formations up there I am even more anxious to have a look for myself. His descriptions brought to mind similar descriptions of tri-radial cairns present in Scotland. It’s probably just a collection of stone-walled goat pens but you never know your luck.

So this morning friend Massimo and myself will be hiking up to take a look. The mountain at 2125m ( about 6, 375 feet) is more a pointy hill really I suppose but even so it’s still a good couple of hours to the top and a further hour down the other side which won’t leave much time for seeing much so we intend to stay up there the night. That way we can have a good look the next day for rock carvings and cairns. ‘fraid it might not be a pleasant hike because the weather is extremely variable at this time of year and I have just weighed my rucksack - 20 kg!! Somewhat excessive, but I was up at 1500 yesterday and it was decidedly cold at midday let alone at night so it is full of cold weather gear. Not being a mountain climber I don’t have any of this extra-lightweight and expensive gear. We want to stay at a collection of ruined buildings (1,950 meters or 5,850 feet) called an alpeggio where they used to take the cattle in the summer when men were real men. This is apparently the area to look for carvings in and as it is on a flat promontory would have also been used in prehistoric times. The alpeggio is well known for fog and the top of the mountain has been shrouded for the last two days. This doesn’t worry me too much though a nice sunny weekend with mild temperatures would be better. What does worry me is that the top of the mountain is also famous for lightning, especially heat storms so I hope it’s not going to be too hot but it doesn’t seem probable.

It’s all a bit of an unknown really because the only map available is 1:50,000 and that is mostly wrong. How they managed to get so much wrong on a single map is a mystery. Last time I was on the summit you could see the alpeggio down below so I have a rough idea where it is and apparently there is or was a path starting around the 1900meter mark which leads directly to it. I have my doubts but it shouldn’t be too difficult to find.

We decided to have a bit of fun and take the hammocks. The fun and also a challenge will be finding somewhere to hang them.

Today too I weighed myself and I’m officially down to 72 kg. Maybe this weekend I will lose the extra two kg I need to reach the weight I want to get to. I’ve been taking it slowly and 72 is now stable. That’s 10 kg in two months which seems reasonable. If I can get to just under 70 and remain stable I will be happy.

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