Friday, February 2, 2018

Two Passes, Ospedalaccio and Pradarena


January has not been great as far as the weather is concerned, so I have just done two short walks in the Apennines so far this year.
Valle dell Inferno from cerreto Pass
The first walk I did was from the Cerreto Pass up to the Ospedelaccio Pass. The name of the pass tells us that there was once a hostel in the middle ages for travellers crossing the Apennines. The route across the Apennines changed and the hostel fell into disuse. 

Passo del Ospedalaccio, Toscana meets Emilia

Passo Ospedalaccio

Passo Ospedalaccio
 Crossing the Apennines was once a hazardous business with bandits and bad weather in winter laying in ambush. Crossing from Liguria to the Po valley would take several days on foot or by mule. These “hospedali” usually run by monks provided shelter and food. The only trace that remains of them today are the place names like Ospedaletto on the way to the Pradarena Pass. Confusingly Hospital in Italian is “Ospedale” rather than “Ostello” which would be the modern equivalent.  


Passo Ospedalaccio

Passo Cerreto
Returning I was rewarded with a splendid sunset.

Passo Cerreto

Passo Cerreto

Passo Cerreto
My second walk was from Pradarena Pass, up over Monte Asinara and down to the Comunella Pass.


Passo Pradarena RE

Passo Pradarena RE
The snow we had before Christmas has nearly all gone and just present on the Northern slopes of the mountain ridge.
Monte Asinara, RE

Monte Asinara, RE

Monte Cusna from Monte Asinara, RE

Monte Cavalbianco dal Monte Asinara RE

Monte Asinara, RE

Alpi Apuani from Monte Asinara
As always this is a nice little walk with some lovely views. The beech woods have created some interesting landscapes that are always interesting to photograph.


Monte Asinara

Passo della Comunella MS

Passo Comunella MS

Passo Comunella MS

Passo della Comunella, MS

Passo della Comunella, MS

Monte Cusna

Passo della Comunella MS

Passo Comunella MS

Passo Pradarena








Friday, December 22, 2017

A Year Along the Crostolo


Last year I had to visit a couple of Doctors for two minor health problems. Each one said that as part of the cure, I had to walk half hour every day. Seems to be a cure all these days.

There is a linear park near where I live that follows, what we all consider to be, a rather squalid little torrent called “Il Crostolo”. In the Summer it is bone dry for many weeks, whilst in the winter it can be a raging torrent. Over time the river has been regimented with flood prevention works at various points.
The Park starts here and my walks/bike rides finshed here as the furthest point up the river.

The torrent winds its way between the houses where the well-kept park starts. As one follows it out of town the houses slowly disappear and it starts to be surrounded by farmland. The thin park each side of the river gets ever more like a wilderness as one climbs the torrent. At certain points it is difficult to imagine you are in a very urbanised area.







To make my daily walk, or as it evolved bike ride a bit less boring, I decided to carry a little camera to document the torrent over the year. I also wanted to try to see if I could make some interesting photographs of a nondescript place like “Il Crostolo”.









I found to my surprise that this linear park along the river had a certain subtle beauty. I also found this little photographic challenge that I set myself quite fascinating.








The year started well with the river frozen over, which was very photogenic. Soon it was Spring with its fresh greens and flowers. The Summer brought a barren dried out riverbed. Autumn brought the first rain and water to the torrent again, together with the Autumn leaves.




  

Now I have come to the end of the year I have put together a little Ebook and I will make myself a Blurb book with results I got with my little camera. I used a Panasonic LX100 which is very compact, but also has a largish sensor. The limited zoom range and the simplicity of operation made this a perfect tool for this task for some reason.  






















Crostolo year2? I am thinking about it.