Magazine topic: 
Life around the world

An Italian adventure

by : 
AngelaE-Olano

This 2015/16 New Year my mum was visiting my husband and I in southern Italy. We’d decided to stay in Calabria to experience what it'd be like to spend New Year away from home.

On the morning of New Year's Eve we started the day by heading to Capo Vaticano, a beautiful stretch of beaches in Calabria, to our friends’ beach house. We decided to take a scenic route down to the beach. However, this route consisted of trying to go down a very steep cliff – exciting we thought! We saw a sign but only took a quick glance at it. As we saw a path, we decided to walk down it with the hope that it would take us to the beach. Had we paid closer attention to the sign, we would’ve realise that the route was only for experienced hikers with the correct equipment. Nathan was probably the best equipped with his trainers. My mum and I were wearing flats and were dressed as if we were ready for the party we’d be attending that evening. The trail became more difficult as we stumbled down steep pathways – mostly on our backsides.

Nathan doesn’t have the best of balance yet it was me who took the first dive, tripping on the dusty ground and taking my poor mum with! Fortunately we weren’t hurt except for my mum’s slightly scratched hand. At this point any sensible people would’ve decided to turn back but us, we felt that having made it that far we might as well carry on. Needless to say, the route became more and more perilous with steeper paths and tricky obstacles (cacti, thorn bushes, jagged sharp rocks). As we were faced with a 6m vertical slide through thorn bushes to reach the beach, we decided we’d probably pushed our luck as far as it'd go. So with our tails between our legs, we retraced our steps back to the car to find an alternative, less adventurous way to the beach.

When we arrived at our host for the evening, Donatella’s house, she’d invited a couple of her family to join us. She’d prepared an incredible 7-course feast. We’re still struggling to work out when she’d time to make all she prepared. Donatella told us she’d started cooking at 13:00 that day and though we sat at midnight to eat, I think it would’ve taken me several days, rather than hours, to prepare such a feast.

Discussion

Have you ever been on a walk that turned into a real adventure?