Further wandering in La Valle,the Dolomites

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May 2nd 2013
Published: May 5th 2013
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The sun takes a while to pierce the valley as the mountain sides are so steep but when it arrived it had a pleasant warmth to it and you could almost see the spring flowers and leaves growing.

While we were walking up to the church yesterday we spied what we thought looked like a road through the forest of pines on the other side of the valley.It appeared to head up towards the end of the valley from where we hope to get an even better view of the big mountain that dominates that end of the valley.If there is a track or road that leads us home by a different route then that would complete a good circuit.

We haven't skimped on breakfast recently and it has set us up well for the day usually only needing a light lunch with fruit to keep us going through the rest of the day.

We caught up on a few things in the morning deciding to do the walk in the afternoon after lunch when the sun would be at a better angle on the mountain for photos and video.

We have a lovely view from the terrace in the apartment but unfortunately it doesn't get enough direct sunshine to make it warm enough to sit out on it except for a small amount of time yesterday.Today was no different although the sun did have some warmth in it but just didn't quite reach onto the terrace where you can sit, with the roof overhang the way the house is designed.

With a good lunch in preparation for another couple of hours at least walking we set off down the hill to the road that led up through the forest directly across from the apartment.The road became a bit steeper the further up we walked and eventually we did come to a fork in the road with the direction we thought we would need to take to get to the end of the valley being a fairly rough forestry track which was still quite wet from the melting snow of the past few days.

We decided against taking the track as we couldn't be sure just how rough it might have got and so went down to the bottom of the hill and took a road that weaved its way up the valley to where we wanted to be.The main difference was going to be that our walk was on a road rather then through a forest.

The village has an excellent football stadium with astro turf and floodlighting.This is one thing we have noticed about most of the towns we have stayed in,there has always been a football ground with floodlighting and where it hasn't been astro turf then there has been grass,mainly in the south of the country,or as we discovered in some places,just a hard surface of dirt.They love their football in Italy at all levels.

Probably the only thing we haven't enjoyed about our time so far in this magical little valley is the smell on the hillsides where the local farmers have sprayed an emulsion of animal muck from the sheds the animals have been in for the winter and water.There is a very noticeable stench as you walk past the areas they have sprayed.

It wasn't long in our walk before we came upon a farmer doing the spraying and it became apparent how it is done.

The little truck we had seen yesterday as a carrier of firewood is obviously very convertible because here was the same type of truck but this time with a large oval tank on the back with the emulsion dripping from it(one of the reasons why you can smell it on some parts of the road as you area walking)parked about 10 metres up the hillside with the driver directing a powerful spray nozzle squirting the 'stuff' in an arc around the hillside turning the green grass to brown.So that now revealed to us all about the brown stains on the hillsides some incredibly far up from the road.These little trucks were certainly powerful and versatile.

The river that ran down beside the road was tumbling along with ice melt and you could see where at times the level had risen which in the narrow valley could be quite scary if you live there.

As the road started to get a bit steeper we past a mobile sawmill with a guy pushing timber through a saw that would have had the OSH people in NZ cringing.He didn't appear to be wearing any safety gear and the blade seemed to be spinning without any guards that you probably would have usually expected.Do we overdo things in NZ?

We passed a small piece of very steep hillside that had been ploughed and made ready for planting out spring vegetable plants.What was really amazing was that the ground looked as though it hade been ploughed with a hand plough as there was a plough left lying beside the other half of the area still be to be prepared.There was no way you could get a machine up that incline and it was doubtful that you could harness an animal to do the job too.It certainly would have been interesting to watch and see how the job had been done.

The road then flattened a bit for a couple of hundred metres and we became enthused again about carrying on to where we thought we could get a full close up view of the mountain we had been admiring.There was a new fairly large building being built and the men working on it were hard at laying steel before a floor of concrete was laid.It looked like it might be going to be a hotel although just up the road a little further there was already a hotel undergoing renovation.

It hadn't seemed like we had walked up that far but when we looked back we were at a level equivalent to the alpine church we had walked to yesterday and we had also reached the level where snow was still on the ground although it appeared to be melting quickly as it was more in patches than covering everywhere.

The last couple of hundred metres was tough going as the road rose quickly but we made it to where the view was uninterrupted only to find that cloud had started to come down over the top of the mountain and the view was no longer as good as we had hoped for.All this time the truck carting the emulsion had passed us three times in each direction going to a shed further up from where we ended our walk.This guy was working at a good pace and had the process of loading up,driving down to where he sprayed it onto the hillside down to a fine art.It seemed now that spring was advancing that things had to be done in a hurry and having all that stuff mucked out from the animal sheds/barns sitting around the house would make anyone work fast to get rid of it.

The return journey down the hill/valley didn't take long at all and there was no need to stop every so often to catch our breath.

We had taken another heap of photos and video to give us memories of our walk and filled in an afternoon easily.

We had made it home just in time because shortly after we sat down to enjoy an early evening drink before dinner rain started to fall.Perhaps that was why the guy spraying the emulsion had been going at it hard so that the stuff washed into the ground with the rain.

The frittata dinner was delicious and we headed for bed wishing that we had arranged to stay another day to take in some more of the walks in the Dolomites around La Valle.

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