All is calm, all is still – or is it?
As the song goes, the sun has (finally) got its hat on – hip hip hip hurray! After a long, listless winter, we are prudently adventuring out onto our mountain roads again, in order to get some life back into our drowsy bodies, not to mention a healthy whiff of oxygen into our dozy brains!
And we are lucky that way, because around Bedonia, and all of the Taro and Ceno valleys for that matter, there are so many off-road tracks to discover, where one can walk undisturbed, surrounded by the beauty of local fauna, without having to avoid traffic at every step.
A simple route, without having to go far, is the road which overlooks Bedonia, on what the natives call the “Costa”. A ridge circling the town centre to the south, which offers some lovely views, as well as some interesting encounters! The area is dotted with rural activities, and large spans of private land, and now is the time of year when there is much work to be done, following the dormant months. So we meet people raking up leaves, and beginning the pruning process. A couple of weeks back, we had some extremely strong wind here, which unfortunately resulted in many trees being up-rooted, and dry branches being snapped and blown everywhere. Some are already chopping and stacking the wood, envisioning a warm summer ahead to dry it out nicely for next winter’s fires.
New fruit trees are being planted, land is being ploughed and hoed, awaiting new plantations…..all is on the move. This pleasant walk leads us past hen houses, where dozens of lively feathered ladies squawk around their rooster boss, or come up to the netting to check you over with one beady eye. Further on, a shelter houses a few horses, who stand swishing their tails, while neighing a greeting to passers-by……further still, curious goats come towards their fencing to give you the second nosy check-up, after that of their chicken colleagues……and in the same place, a pack of wolves, soundly restricted within an enclosure, will howl at you – possibly the least welcoming of this assortment of animals!
Everywhere, the first breath of spring is perceivable – in the carpets of primroses, muscaria and tiny wild violets spread across the woodlands and along the side of the road, in the daffodils lovingly planted by some sensitive soul, in the chirping of the birds and the heart-shaped eyes of cats following the summons of love…….we feel another song coming on! All this beauty is just outside town, but if one should have the desire to explore further afield, there are hundreds of trails to choose from, either through countryside surroundings or mountain landscape, some which cross the higher ridges, and lead as far as to the Ligurian coast.
We have several mountain guides in the area, expert people who know every inch of the territory like the back of their hands, and who, during the summer months (but not only), organise group excursions to many different destinations, adding historical/naturalistic information as they go. At this very moment, a new map of tracks is being made up for the Tarsogno zone, which is 15 minutes from Bedonia. This kind of activity is very much appreciated by walking enthusiasts, and a large slice of local tourism rotates around it, since our town is an excellent starting point for just about anywhere.
So, in the hope of resuming some normality in the near future, in the meantime we are pulling out our sneakers and starting off down that track which will also (all-important detail!) help us shed the weight we put on during this last year of inactivity. If only it were so easy……!