Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Monte Bove circuit-Do not disturb the mating unicorns

29 agosto,2012
Bacco and I conquered another 2 or 3 peaks over 2,000 meters today, depending on who's reading...more about that later.
After an hour and a half drive, we arrived at the little town of Frontignano and the Hotel Felycita where we debarked and I had a coffee prior to hitting the trail.  1st stop the Croce di Monte Bove, which as far as I can gather is the largest cross in these here parts sitting atop a mountain.
This is a view you should not see as I did not follow the instruction in Gillian Price's book "Italy's Sibillini National Park".  It is more of a straight up self-made path.  Below you see the trails meeting below and the correct path to take is to the right of the dry spring followed very shortly by a left and then you will be ok.  If you follow the books instructions to go left of the spring, go straight up after until you reach the trail in the grass: stay out of the trees.

Bacco has arrived with a nice view to the NW

There can be no doubt that This is a Christian mountain! 1905 meters above sea level.
A look to what may or may not be our next goal: Mt. Bove north.  There are a number of signs which basically prohibit its climbing in order to leave the mating unicorns in peace.  There is a 25 euro fine if they catch you and a hanging for those who take dogs with them-on or off a leash, so, of course we politely skirted around it.
If, perchance these photos were taken atop Mt. Bove North, the view would be to the north at 2112 meters and below Bacco is searching for shade or water.

Views of the last mountain hike we made with Pizzo Berro in the foreground and Priora in the background.

just liked these formations

From the saddle between Mt. Bove North and South looking to the latter

This wonderful ski lift which would have dumped skiers right next to a great bowl was built at great expense and never used as no one bothered to take into account the howling winds which made transit too dangerous.  Mt. Bove South is just past it to the right.
Atop Mt. Bove South 2169 meters and already we are planning our escape as we sense rush hour arriving.  It turns out there is a ski lift which brings the tired masses up to just below this peak and their destination is Mt. Bove Sud!

From Mt. Bove South you get a great view down the first part of the famous Gole dell'Infernaccio

By chance, I looked in the book and saw this little bump, Mt Bicco is also above 2,000 meters, see below, so we hightailed it over there as well, once again alone.

Bacco looking at the cairn and thinking: "I don't think I have marked each of these peaks today"  Dad forgot to mark a couple on his GPS, as well.

Looking back at the unused ski lift terminal with the extreme skiing to the right and just out of sight to the left a great bowl for intermediates.

Arriving at the ski lift terminus which was belching out the tourists, we find Jesus in the picnic area blessing Umbria to the west.  It looks like Cristo Redentor in Rio, right, but is actually only about life size.  From here, it is a bit of a hellish descent to the hotel Felycita with burning leg muscles not helping much.  
This is a big hike if you do all 3 peaks over 2,000 meters plus the cross at 1905 m.  We arrived at the cross 1 hours and 20 minutes from the start, another theoretic 35 minutes if we had arrived atop Mt. Bove north, then 45 minutes more for the north peak, 20 more for Mt. Bicco and the descent finished at 4 hours and 5 minutes from the start time.  Lunch was perfectly acceptable at the hotel and Bacco was rewarded with a steak bone.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Rotella's magnificent Porco Festival!

14 Agosto The Porco festival is not only a must attend so you can buy the t-shirt, but also involves the entire little town of Rotella and is quite well done.  I think it is probably the best food festival of the year for the province, to be honest.  Every year seems to be a little better as well and the event is only held for 3 nights which is fair to the restaurants, unlike the "sagre" at Offida which compete with the local restaurants for 10 nights! The sagra is set up so that you can see the whole town if you try out an appetizer, 1st course, 2nd course and beer or wine.  There is a main stage for the headliner, but each plaza has music at some time during the night.  I wish Offida would learn from these guys and get the whole community involved in a similar festival. Here is a photo of the entrance which is a bit like "abandon hope, all ye who enter here".
 The obligatory pig ear head ornament can be seen below.
A suckling on the barbie.

Andy Warhol designed these for the city just before his death, hehe


Sangria and pork sandwiches: a bit out of context, but a good match nonetheless.

MMMMMM pork loin and potatoes with saffron

Beer on tap

This way to all night dancing in the grass
Whaz ur order ahready!

Worst corn on the cob in the world can be found in Italy, usually what we would call feed corn.

The Mayans were here.

Also MGM?

They fill the town up with happy tourists, I didn't see anyone with a sour face.

Groups of musicians play throughout the city.

This girl was channeling Amy, even down to the gaunt look.

Each little plaza has its own specialty, this is for first courses.

One of the city towers.
I hope you all can attend next year!