The lady with the white hair. That’s what it looks like. She has been staring at me for the past few days. I was drawing closer, but still she looks distant. Yet everywhere I went, she was there. The big, big mountain you can see from everywhere at the coast of Abruzzo. And beyond. The Maiella. And today I was finally going to walk on it.
I was invited by Verino, who I was staying with in Laroscia, to stay a few days longer so I could join him and some friends to walk the Maiella. Certainly I would! I would conquer that old lady that has been laughing at me the past days.
We got up very early and drove to Pennapiedimonte, a village at the foot of the mountain. We followed a small gravel road into a small V-shaped valley (V is for rivers and U is for glaciers, I learned that today). From then on we walked for nearly 9 hours straight. My legs were so soar the next day. But at that moment, at the mountain, they were still good.
The Maiella has so much to offer. Trees, grass, rocks. A good temperature. A splendid view to the blue sea (if you’re on the right side. We were). And a lot of kms of hiking trails. Did I mention it also has caves? I love caves. A lot of caves were used by the shepherds and have some little walls at the entrance, only they are abandoned know. There is only one shepherd left and he is at the other side of the mountain.
Yet, as we were walking for hours, my legs got tired. I got tired. This was a bit different than walking on sea-level roads. Verino and I gave in and we didn’t join the others to walk to another top. Instead we went down and enjoyed a well-deserved cold beer/cola. Smiling we had made it through the day, the other entered as well. The smile faded the next day when I got up. My legs were killing me. I hadn’t conquered the Maiella. She had conquered me. I am nothing to her. She is just laughing at me. Again.