|View of Apricale from the mule track|
May Day dawned slightly cloudy and damp-looking but the forecast was not for rain, despite the downpour the night before. 9.30am was rendezvous time in the piazza in Apricale. A bit early for a bank holiday but we made it - even Ruby who was walking with us both this time. The plan was to walk down to the Romanesque bridge and then up the other hill a little way to the point where the mule track split off to Perinaldo. Here we would take the path for the little chapel of Moudena and the big clearing with its table and benches with a big BBQ. During the walk we would learn about the wild plants and herbs that grew in the areas and eat some for lunch. I was really keen on this as I love the idea of foraging for food. It would give us ideas for food at our future agriturismo too.
The ground was pretty wet and this time we had brought lots of water and dressed for warmer weather. Ruby had a hat, change of clothes and something to lay on if she needed a nap and we knew we'd probably have to carry her some of the way.
|The cobbled mule track|
|Ruined water powered olive mill|
Ruby eventually settled down and we past a beautiful ruined olive mill next to the river. Then we climbed onto the humped back of the bridge and peered down the river. It was surprisingly fast moving but still looked inviting as at various points the water runs through little rock pools. Could be wonderful in summer when the river is not so swollen with the Winter & Springtime rains.
|The hump-backed bridge|
Up we went a little further until we reached the crossroads we had been seeking. One way to Perinaldo and on to Moudena.
|Ruby on Paul's shoulders|
By this time Ruby had decided she had had enough but she had walked an incrediby long way for a 2 1/2 year-old with very little complaint. Luckily the great thing about living in Italy is there is always a 'Nonna' (Grandmother) to adopt and the lady in front of us took her by the hand and they walked together the rest of the way, stopping occasionally while the lovely lady pointed something out to Ruby. They even found a beautiful crystal with little pieces of wood inside which Ruby has in her box of treasures.
When we arrived at the chapel, which looks as if it was built in the 40's or 50's there was the lovely smell of charcoal burning and sound of children laughing and dogs barking. The rest of the children had arrived in the car with Petra and the others from Apricale. A group of men were tending the BBQ and there was a very long concrete table with concrete benches laid out with paper tablecloths, water, bread & wine. The table has a metal structure above it, perfect to cover in bamboo for some shade. What a great place for a BBQ. I was imagining it at night with candles and music and the metal frame covered in clematis or some other fragrant climber - another mental image filed away for our own place. Noris took a wonderful picture of us all with a pinhole camera.
|Lunch Apricalese-style captured on a pinhole camera|
Another wonderful day in Apricale.