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Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Walk Up Mount Pizzocolo

"Due to its position in the Lake Garda hinterland, Mount Pizzocolo is an excellent observation point for viewing the entire lake. The 360 degree panorama encompasses not only the lake, but also the Alps (as far as Mount Rosa) and the Apennines" Brescian Trails, Hikiing in the Privince of Brescia.

After reading this I was very keen to make this my next walk, to drag Mari-lyn on. One of the starting positions was also very close to Hotel Colomber, which is my favourite place for eating Spiedo.

Spiedo being a Brescian dish where different meats, including various cuts of rabbit, pork, chicken and little birds, are skewered with slices of potato and sage leaves in between the meats, salted and drizzled with butter, as they cook slowly on the revolving spit. It is usually served with polenta and a jug of the juices, from the meats, butter and sage......squisito.

It's perfect for Sunday lunch and as I say, the Hotel Colomber is my favourite place to eat it. It's position in the village of St Michele, which is in the mountains above Gardone, is tranquil and very beautiful. There is a hangliding and parascending school next door, so you can let your lunch go down, relaxing in the grass and watching the brightly coloured shutes and wings, glide gently down from the top of the mountain and land in the field next door.

Anyway, back to the walk, I knew that after a few hours of hard walking, I would be able to refresh myself with an ice cold birra Moretti, from the hotel bar.

After walking for only ten minutes, I must admit I was almost ready to give up. The path we followed was up a very steep gully, in quite a dense woods. The leaves and twig were calf deep, which made climbing even more difficult, to make matters worse the empty chesnut shells were pricking me through my trainers, poor Mari-lyn had chosen walking sandals, so it was a bit like torture for her. Still we perservered and after about 30 mins we'd gone too far to go back, we just hoped the terrain would change soon. Then we came to a fork and didn't know which way to go.

I left Mari-lyn at the fork and set off to explore one direction, which of course turned out to be the wrong way, so we took the other path. Then after a few minutes I discovered I'd lost my sunglasses, which I loved so I had to go back and look. It was going to be like looking for a needle in a haystack they wre a browny greeny colour, just like the leaves. Mari-lyn waited at the fork while I checked back. It was worse going down than it had been going up. I ended going all the way back to the car, no luck, then I had to make my way back up the difficult path. Mari-lyn had gotten bored waiting and I met her half way back up. Luckily for me she did get bored, as she found my sunglasses, but she'd had enough of the torture and wasn't prepared to go back up, she went back to the hotel while I set off back up.

As luck would have it the terrain changed just a hundred yards from where I'd discovered I'd lost my sunglasses, which was nice, but a shame as if we'd gotten to there together I'm sure Mari-lyn would have continued. I'd promised her that I would only be a couple of hours and so wasn't sure I would get to the top, and even if I did, I wouldn't have much time to enjoy the views and rest after the climb.

It was steep, but through some nice woodland paths, lots of mountain flowers and strange sounding birds above my head. If I wasn't going to reach the top I wanted to at least reach somewhere that I could either see the top, or see some views. As it happened, when I did reach some openings in the trees, the views weren't too good as it was one of those days when the mist hangs quite heavy over the lake. I reached a point where I could finally see the top, I'd gone about fifteen minutes over the time I gave myself so thought I'd better turn back. It was a shame as I think I was only forty minutes from the top, if only I hadn't dropped my sunnys. I ran virtually all the way back down, scratching my shins and twisting my ankles, but I arrived back exactly on time, and the two beers cold beers were very welcome.

There are a few other routes up to the top of mount pizzocolo, so next time I will try one of those.

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