‘Peaceful’ is the adjective which duly describes that morning on the western bank of Sabato River in the Picentini Mountain Range. The little patches of sky discernible above the hazelnut forest canopy were faintly illuminated by the horizontal beaming of the newly-risen sun. But no direct light was to soon reach the bottom of the deep valley.
The only motion was made by the weakest of the hazelnut trees’ leaves: early withered into yellow, by the first signals of autumn’s coming, slowly reaching the ground following whirling courses. The only sound was, too, made by the leaves: gently rustling against the fondling of the soft wind. There should also be the gurgling of the streaming water, if the river wasn’t as dry as the moonscape. And I should also stay there to enjoy the serenity of that morning longer, if I wasn’t badly dehydrated due to the lack of water.
My original plan for the day was to cross the river and head up to Monte Terminio and the eastern portions of the Picentini Range. However -as for the previous two days I kept encountering only dry springs, one after the other; and, ultimately, the river itself bereft of any water- I couldn’t maintain any substantial hope of finding water anywhere higher up the other side. So I had to abandon this plan and come up with an alternative one.
Plainly, I was severely thirsty. Finding water was demanding urgent attention. I packed everything up rapidly and started trotting along the waterless river bed. Having to force my way past the wire fences defining the allocation of the area to private people, I’d soon reached to the road. I followed it down for some 5 km and I reached civilization: the Serino town. I found my way to the town’s central square and beheld the reliving spectacle of fresh, cold water gushing out from a spring located there. One who has never experienced dehydration could never imagine how tasteful water might be. I filled my bottles up, got my backpack loaded on my back, and set myself again in motion.
My new plan was to head towards Solofra town to the west and take from there the train to Pompei the day after, spending the night in the mountains intervening the two towns. By early afternoon, I was stationed in a fascinating chestnut forest right below Vellizano peak. I had there an easy, resting day and a long, exhilarating sleep until late next morning.
By noontime, then, I was down in Solofra. I had quite an adventure wandering around the town and asking to find some means of transport to be conveyed to Pompei. And, finally, having to change two buses, I was back to where I’d left from three days ago. That was the trip in the Picentini Mountains.