Monday, 14 October 2013

Walking in Italy near lake Iseo

Sale Marasino

I went with Stone Ramblers on a Ramblers Worldwide holiday to Italy September 8-22, 2013, staying at the Hotel Rotelli in Sale Marasino beside lake Iseo.   

It was excellent – ottimo!

There was a choice of walks each day, details of the walks I went on are as follows:


Over the two weeks I walked a total of 131.5km (81.7 miles), including considerable hills, a total ascent of 7.3km and descent of 9.4km, excluding the two 'days off'.

On the first day of the holiday we went to Monte Isola, the biggest lake island in Europe, in lake Iseo.  The walk on the second day included Pisogne, a very nice town with the nicest ice cream. 

Corna Trentapassi

On the third day we went to the top of a hill called Corna Trentapassi, crosses are often hill to be found on the top of the hills. 
Alps from Corna Trentapassi

There was a good view from there towards the Alps.

Ancient rock engravings, CapodiPonte

For the days off there were suggested trips to local attractions. On the first day off I went by train to Capo di Ponte where there are some ancient rock engravings. These aren't too clear until you 'tune into' them but when you do it's very interesting, there was a good little museum.
Capo di Ponte

There were lovely mountain views in Capo di Ponte.

River Oglio

The river Oglio which feeds lake Iseo was also a good sight. 

The train fares in Italy seem to be a good deal more logical than in Britain, they seem to be calculated according to distance and don't appear to depend on time of day. Single fares as far as I could gather were half a return fare and the price is the same if bought on the train. British train fares are by comparison a complete nightmare to fathom.   
Monte Isola from Punta Almana

On the first day after the day off we scaled the highest hill of the holiday, Punta Almana. From there is one of the few views of the island Monte Isola where you can see water all round it.
The second day we walked from Lovere. The church bells in all the towns visited played very pretty tunes I thought. This one in Lovere is an example:

The third day was a rural walk near Portele.
Isle di Loreto

The fourth day we climbed a small hill from which there is a good view of the little Isle di Loreto. 

Earth erosion pyramids

Then we visited the most interesting thing I saw during the holiday; earth erosion pyramids where glaciers have brought down moraine rock debris in the past and deposited it. Some is fine grained sand and some is big boulders. Then the rain gradually washes the sand away leaving boulders sheltering huge columns. 

Mont Blanc from Ponte del Orto

On the fifth day we went to Ponte del Orto which isn't especially high but weather conditions were spectacular. We got a very good view of Mont Blanc which apparently you can't usually see because it's so far away and obscured by heat haze.   

Monte Agolo

On the sixth day we went up Monte Agolo

On the second day off I visited the city of Brescia, which has a large castle and also some interesting Roman remains, with a bit of Celtic influence too.

By the penultimate full day of the holiday the weather had turned and we were in cloud on the top of Monte BronzoneWhen you get to the top of Monte Bronzone you ring the big bell, so I did:

On the last day I walked we went up Monte Rondondone.

On the day of our return journey I opted out of the short walk so I could pack at leisure and lounge around by the pool before going to a nearby restaurant for a large and very enjoyable lunch including a large range of meats, cheeses, anchovies, olives and some particularly good pumpkin pancakes, before returning home.

For me going away for two weeks was brilliant. For the first 4-5 days I just wanted more of it, by a week I was glad I wasn't with the group going home then as I was in the swing of things, after about 10-12 days I was starting to flag, the muscles ached a bit and I had a small blister. I enjoyed the remainder of the holiday but felt somewhat glad at the idea of a rest from walking after the 2 weeks.

A most essential item I took to Italy was insect repellent, which I had to smother myself with every day. This seems to vary from person to person, unfortunately I'm very tasty.

The things I liked least about Italy were the practice of caging wild birds such as blackbirds and song thrushes to lure others in to be shot and also the abundance of continuously barking dogs. The things I liked most other than the walking, views and delightful company were the very tuneful church bells, the bells on the cows and sheep and the many flavours of delicious ice cream.

No comments:

Post a Comment