Thursday, 12 July 2018

Canned heat was a good title for this series of blogposts.

So this morning we drove back into Comunanza, the nearest town, this morning to pick up some groceries etc. 27 very sticky degrees centigrade before breakfast.

The supermarket chain is called Conad. That’s not right to my eyes, and it should be called either Conrad or Gonad.

It’s like many small European supermarkets, crammed with stuff, some over-priced brands, some excellent value offers, some local specialities. We buy bread, cheese, milk, steaks for dinner (special offer) passata (but forgot veggies) crisps just because.

But before all that, around 7am I got my slightly dozy backside out of bed and went to take some pictures with the sun just spilling into the valley below us. This morning the lavender scent from outside the kitchen doors was really strong, blending with the mix of other perfumes and spices. I wandered a few hundred meters (we’re in Italy now, so no imperial measurements permitted ;-) ) to get a better backdrop behind the next town across the valley from us, and just because it was nice to be outside in cool fresh air. By the time I got back home I was covered in perspiration from the walk back up & the humidity.

And this morning we just spent time airing the house, doing washing left behind, cleaning the fridge (penicillin anyone?) and finding maps & other stuff to enable more exploration. Goal achieved, maps found, Castelluccio and the flower meadows of the Fioritura identified, that’s tomorrows plan.

At 12.50pm we’re presently sheltering in the house from the heat outside. All the shops in town shut from around 12.30pm to 3.00pm and stay open until 7.30pm, and that sounds like wisdom to me.

Bread, cheese, yoghurts, apples. Lunch.

We siesta the afternoon away.

After a dinner of steak and pasta we drove over to Amandola, the next town north of Comunanza. As we approached the place we saw the old town perched on top of a hill, suburbs sprawled around below, and driving up it looked much more prosperous than the rather down-at-heel Comunanza. However once we’d parked up, post purchase of gelato, we walked in the gathering dusk to the top of the old citadel.

It was very quiet up there.

Part way up we noticed the first building held together with big industrial straps connected to large bolts through the walls -  basically they were holding the end of the house in place where it had separated from the rest of the building. A little further on we came across a narrow passage between the houses that was closed for safety and then more buildings obviously empty and being kept together with some very substantial eternal supports, some with roofs caved in. There’s a lot of  damage from the earthquake in Jan 2017, and we wondered how they would ever manage to fix it, considering the tiny streets and inaccessibility of the buildings.

I managed a few shots of the town, going up and coming down, plus some blue hour stuff after sunset. When we got near to our parking place we came across an open door to a shop-type room with signs up about a photo exhibition and some small mono pictures pinned to boards around the room.  After my times of working in the darkroom, seeing photos held up with pins makes me cringe, considering the hours they used to require to create. Some images were good, some forgettable, but interesting to see. The room itself had a table with opened soft drinks on it, but was otherwise empty, so we wandered round for a few minutes before heading back.

Driving back on super-twisty mountain roads after dark isn’t ideal, but with care it’s OK. Back at base we settled with those crisps we bought earlier and a glass of local wine, accompanied by a tiny version of the local variety of scorpion that seemed to have found its way into the living room.

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