As this column is published, I’ll be flying high above the Alps somewhere at about 35,000 feet and trying not to throw up down my front, but at the same time I’ll probably be thinking what have I forgot to pack?
I’m a very light traveller anyway, only ever taking the bare essentials that I’ll need of the trip. Even some of that is really surplus to my needs, but there is always something that I knew I should’ve taken but forgot to.
My journey began this morning at 2am out of bed, then a quick slurp of coffee, ‘arrivedercis’ to my nearest and dearest, then off I set out on the bike to ride to the airport. In truth this would be the first I had ridden the bike to go catch a plane but it seemed to make sense…and the parking at the airport would be free and hopefully secure too. Hopefully the bike will still be there when I get back on Saturday night.
Anyway, the flight would be uneventful and monotonous…which in aviation speak, is a good thing. The hire car had been booked, because a hire bike wasn’t available at my destination airport…which is pretty crap but life goes on.
The plan is to get out of Naples, travel south past Pompeii and Mt Vesuvius and arrive at my base camp in the foot of the mountains in the Campania region of Italy. This is an area I know very well as it’s my father’s birth place and we still have many friends and family in the local area, which is quite helpful if you ever need to ask someone to come and rescue you if you’re trapped halfway up a mountain.
Now, my trip isn’t all adventure as I do need to attend to some other matters at the same time, like fixing a leaking rook, mending a water pump at the domestic well and chopping down the brambles which surely would’ve overtaken the base HQ since my last visit, however after all of that is done I should have enough time to go and investigate more of the mountain trails in the surrounding area.
Mountain life and indeed weather is never a sure thing especially from autumn to spring, regardless of the lat. and long. but in can range from a scorching hot day and clear skies to non stop rain at the foothills and snow covered caps…the latter making any climb up the mountains whether on foot or by vehicle a non starter really.
My plan is to lean on plan B but hope for plan A scenario when it comes to getting to summit one of the nearby mountains which looms large over the base camp where I am staying. If I can arrange a bike whilst I am thereat then it would be a nice little victory, however if not then the car and on foot may indeed be the only way to go, if the trails are open of course.
I have been looking at maps for a few weeks and google earth imagery too but it’s really a best guess until I actually get feet on the ground and see what’s what. In my mind’s eye I think it is passable and mostly because I was able to summit another nearby mountain a couple of years ago but in truth that was with a 4×4 which barely made it, although on a bike it would’ve been a breeze.
However, the plan C is always a consideration too. If the high mountain trails are not passable, then there are many foothill trails that meander through narrow gorges and valleys which need to be explored too…either way it will be an adventure and a mini expedition to see what I can find.
I will be making as many videos as I can for the YouTube channel: RevelatorAlf and there will be additional topics for the other shows too, so it should be quite a full on few days…if I survive that is. I’ll also be blogging every night too with a few updates of the days and what I was able to do too.