Nom de Plumage

April 11, 2012

Four Tourist Use Profanities Along Lake Como Walking Trail – It’s Called Aussie Slang!

Although the weather is warm during the day, it cools dramatically at night. I lay shivering in my bed last night, waiting patiently for the blessed heater to turn on and warm my weary bones. Thankfully it did around 10 pm and from then on, I snored like a fiend.

Breakfast in any hostel consists of the staple diet of bread, margarine, jam, a piece of fruit (if your lucky) and coffee/tea. At this hostel the same rule applies, but the bread is fresh and the coffee is made by the host, the proper way – cappuccino with a thick silky froth on top. After breakfast, I asked my hostess for day trip recommendations and she politely informed me of a 12 km walk along the lake with stunning views called “the green way”. It sounded great and so with my bus ticket in hand and walking shoes on, I started my day.

Lake Como is a massive lake with the modern marvel of having a narrow two way road that traverses the very edge of mountain and water. By taking the bus to my hiking starting point, I had no idea that I would be handing my life over to the very capable bus driver? Thank God for health insurance! The road is very narrow and winding, through villages, under bridges and through mountains. Shared by cars, buses, motorbikes, trucks, cyclists and pedestrians, all done with the greatest of ease and not a angry or aggressive motorist in sight. Although a hair-raising experience, I could not help but laugh at the sheer danger and yet normal life of the residents. Welcome to Italy!

I missed my stop and hurriedly got off the bus and walked back to the starting point. It was here that I passed three tourists with the distinctive and very welcoming Aussie accent. I had to stop and before I knew it, the four of us joined as a little group and started the hike together. I cannot express how delighted I was to have companions, but ones from Australia was extra special.  May I introduce Rob, Emma and Trenta from Port Stephens. Need I even write that we spoke fast, cracked plenty of Aussie humour and slang and just talked about home?

My camera being cheap and nasty, did no justice to the magnificence of the day. The sun shone brilliantly, the lake sparkled and the scenery laid out so magnificently before us, delighted all and every senses. We walked and talked and at no time did we feel tired. We passed villa’s nestled high up the mountain or situated perfectly on the water’s edge. Villages dotted the track and silently we passed through them. What really amazed me, was that houses lay right beside the road and front doors opened onto the road. I have never witnessed such close proximity and lack of space and privacy between dweller’s and yet, this has been their way of like for centuries. Peaceful and at harmony.

One part of our journey lead us to a historic site that left us a little confused. Etched into a stone wall was an inscription dedicated to Mussolini. Not being able to read Italian, we could only assume it was the residence of the famous dictator or something to do with his arrest? Still, it piqued our interest and got our fingers clicking for those memorable photo’s.

The one important thing that we forgot to do, was stop and each lunch. In hindsight it was silly because we passed so many places to stop and eat, but we just kept walking. We believed that once we got to the end, we could stop and then eat. But this was to prove a mistake because firstly we over looked how late we would finish the walk and secondly, by the time we back tracked to the nearest cafe, lunch was over. I was ravenous and knew that I would have to wait until dinner to eat. 

The four of us, defeated and hungry, caught the bus back to our respective accommodation. We travelled about half way together before my new-found friends got off the bus. I was sad to say good-bye, but thankful in meeting and enjoying such a beautiful day with some Aussie’s. When I got back to the hostel, I relaxed in my dorm awaiting desperately for some dinner. It was here, that I met Valerie, my room-mate from Brazil, who spoke perfect English and was so friendly, that we started up a new and continuing friendship.

Dinner at long last came. I opted for the filling pasta and red wine again and it was during dinner that I met another Aussie guy named Tom. My first full day in Lake Como and how things are changing!


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