Day Six of walking.
Casperia to Mompeo 16.5 km 8 hours
–Weather – fine-
Casperia was our designation for our rest day. Another hill top town with amazing views.
We stayed in a residence that had been occupied by some sort of high ranking family as noted from the frescos around the main sitting room.
Again it was steps, steps, steps everywhere!
This place seemed to be less religious than previous towns. We weren’t summoned to church at all – the bells everywhere else had called us each morning and evening – and we couldn’t find a way to get into one. The only evidence was on Sunday morning we watched a lady giving students a bible study lesson.
Roberto and Maureen, the couple who own the place where we stayed, were Italian and Welsh. They retired to the town 20 years ago to run this accommodation place with a cooking school and links to another restaurant in town. He was an architect and award-winning chair designer. There were some curious chairs in the house. As he said to us “the design is interesting but comfort is not a priority.
We enjoyed our pasta making as well as making ‘parmesan cups’ (melting and forming a cup over an upturned bowl). Great for adding anything.
I had loved learning the Lecce style pasta with Anna in Lecce two years ago.
The difference with this pasta was learning about the style of cutting and marking. This dough was made with egg and Jennifer showed us how to make garganelli which is like penne for us. The other thing they did was to make a sauce using fresh artichokes. So delicious. That is certainly going to be on our menu.
On with the walk.
Sam and I headed to the supermarket/deli just outside the city walls to get our lunches. It was interesting to note how the prices of the lunches was going down! We had paid €16.60 in Spoletto on our first day for 5 lunches. We were now down to €12.00 in Casperia. It had been getting cheaper every day!! (Always ordering the same food). They must do this a lot as the girl serving didn’t hesitate in preparing the rolls for us all with a gorgeous smile.
This was to be a gentlish day with a slow rise to 700m then bumping away down to 300m where we would finish at an organic farm and the most delightful time with Stefano and Elisabeth.
This was a much easier walk than we have been doing and there were lots of nice strolls through gorgeous oak forests and then meandering river streams. Beautiful views across the hill tops. As we looked across the colours reminded me of Kaffe Fasset designs and how we were so impressed with the way that he knitted the landscape.
I don’t think my photos captured that tone that he was able to achieve; my knitting didn’t either.
Then we got lost! Not in a bad way but we did. We think that the reason we were off the path was because we were headed through a field or two and the farmer had knocked over some pegs.
Still with our trusty compass in the phone, the maps and instructions and a check on the path that was on the GPS app on the phone we were all good. It was sensible to have battery backup for our phones. It was quite special walking around the growing wheat though and then to stumble through the stony fields to cut across.
This journey was so like the story of ‘We’re Going On. Bear Hunt’ Across the river through the grass etc. “…stumble trip, stumble trip.”
We had more small creeks to cross before we came to Le Mole sul Farfa Stefano and Elisabeth’s organic farm. Our home for two nights.
As the week passed we saw less and less of grapes and more and more olive groves. And the trees seemed to be getting older and older.
Elisabeth was bottling her elderflower cordial as we turned up so it was great to be able to compare notes on the way we make ours. It was so lovely to talk about her links to Sydney as she follows the Cornersmith people using their pickling methods and ideas. This place is just around the corner from Robyn, Peter and Alex. Small world.
We ate olives from their trees, oil as well.
Elisabeth prepares vegetarian meals so this was a delight as well in fact we enjoyed the most wonderful pasta sauce I think I have ever tasted. A quite sweet tomato taste with her passata. But maybe we had just been away from this fresh taste for a while.
AND we found wild asparagus. I will write about that tomorrow.