On arriving in Cesi, it was our priority was to do some washing but that could wait whilst we relaxed in the serene quietness of the village watching the bustle of life in the valley below. We had a further four days in Cesi to prepare for the trip home. My plan was read a book in the sun but instead we;
climbed a mountain.
Although Cesi is some 400+ metres above the valley floor, there is at least another 400 metres of granite extrusion above the village and Robert assured us that it was a gentle walk of 15 minutes to the top. Now Robert is not stupid but he does have a problem with measuring time and a propensity to minimize the difficulty of tasks. After climbing along the footpaths of Cesi to the end of the village then the road to the old church of St Erasmus, we veered off into the undergrowth on a rock strewn winding goat track (actually it looked like the path followed by the local vermin pigs) and after half an hour we stopped at the lookout half way up the mountain.
Kerry and I turned back leaving Robert to fossick for wild asparagus and flowers. The trip down was treacherous with the loose stones and rocks sliding under foot. Whilst in Cesi we had often heard helicopters delivering building materials and now we could see the result – a fence to prevent landslides onto the village. We sat and waited for Robert on the stub wall leading to the church which must have had bottoms parked on it for centuries.
Caught a bus.
We visited Narni a village on the south eastern end of the valley and miles from Cesi. It involved catching two buses, one from Cesi to the terminus and the second from the terminus to Narni. This is a far more substantial village (don’t be fooled when catching the train – it stops at Narni but that is the new Narni miles from the old village where we were in the hills behind). The bus stopped in a parking station below the village and via a funicular and an elevator we traveled up to the “High” street of the village.
The streets are so narrow in parts that traffic lights govern the passage of single lanes of traffic. The village is aware of its past and many buildings have been restored to preserve their antiquity. We enjoyed a lunch in an establishment that called itself a hotel but the usual facilities of rooms reception bar etc were not obvious. Catching buses may have been inexpensive but the timetable meant often you had little time to explore and we always seemed to arrive when everyone was on siesta.
Caught another bus.
We planned a farewell Easter lunch in Portaria (apparently it means pig shit in Italian – go figure). We had been to the village previously but Robert had heard the restaurant in town did the wild boar and polenta in the true traditional way so Portaria it was. The other specialty of the house is BBQ’ed mixed grill. They have an open fire place and they BBQ your lunch on the coals. Very rustic! But I have burnt my sausage over coals camping before. This was followed by a stroll around the village as we waited for the bus.
Did the washing. That evening Easter Friday, the village paraded through the main street with a litter containing an effigy of Christ after being taken from the cross. This is a tradition that has been performed every Easter Friday for centuries and it was a privilege to observe the village people young and old participating.Our last four days with Robert came to an end and after packing we are back on the train (two trains actually) to Fumucino Airport. It has been a busy month away from home; now we are going back to plan to do it all again somewhere else.