Wednesday, 10 March 2021

Germany to Italy: Morano Calabro to Cosenza

Pollino National Park

Despite the bad weather I still got to see a bit of Pollino National Park when I resumed my hike. The mountains mainly serve as meadows and despite the low temperatures plenty of cows and horses were still out. When I approached this meadow I could see dozens of cows peacefully grazing. Unsuspectingly I came closer - when all of sudden the sheep dogs must have woken up and ran towards me. Normally it helps to pick up a rock and threaten to throw it but alas - there was no rock whatsoever in the grass, only cow pats. And believe it or not: I picked up a dry cow pat, threw it towards the dogs - and it worked! They let me pass and kept a distance! 

View of Paola
I hiked several more days in rainy weather before the sun came out again. The Sentiero Italia had now brought me within sight of the sea! When I discovered that the famous pilgrimage site of Paola is located only 4 kilometers away from the trail I wanted to pay it a visit. Unfortunately I had somehow overlooked that these 4 kilometers involved a 1,000 meter elevation loss that I would have to climb up again next day. Still this view of Paola and the sea was worth the effort!

Back on trail I was woken up very early in the morning by mushroom pickers! Way before sunrise they drive up into the mountains and look for "porcini". I don't think they would have bothered me but I was not keen on answering curious questions first thing in the morning.

The Sentiero follows a train line around the town of Cosenza. I was a bit surprised to see that on the map but assumed that the line was not active any more so that hikers could walk there. Luckily I checked to schedules and found out that two trains run here per hour! And to make things worse the train line passes several narrow bridges and tunnels. Walking here is basically suicide and I don't understand why the CAI put their route here! Because I did not want to kill myself I took the train and spent one night in Cosenza.

Cosenza is a hilltop town with very little parking. The owners of my accommodation therefore offer E-bikes for their guests. Great chance for me because I wanted to do a last shopping trip to Decathlon and Lidl, both way out of town. But this was my first time ever on an E-bike in an unknown Italian city with no bike paths and almost flat tires. I managed - but was very happy when I brought myself and the bike back in one piece. 

I was having breakfast when I saw the Naples Corona riots on TV. More and more Italian regions were going into lockdown. "Don't worry, this will not happen here in Calabria", told me the owner. She was wrong in the end ...

1 comment:

SparkInList said...

Very informative, I really enjoyed reading it.
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