On The Farm

Trip Start Aug 15, 2007
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Trip End Jun 01, 2012


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Flag of Italy  , Abruzzo,
Sunday, August 10, 2008

We traveled from Naples... via train... made two stops, in increasingly smaller villages, to transfer trains... finally stopped at our last stop before taking the train to Sora... a small village located in the mountains in the Abruzzo National Park... We stepped off our train... and were directed to a two car train compartment... jumped on... and in ten we were off... after the attendant told us to close our windows... in a short while we understood why... the train went through forests... with branches sliding and smacking against the sides... burrowing through a dozen narrow tunnels...without an arms length to give... across bridges spanning river valleys... It was an amazing ride... and the first time I have almost become motion sick on a train... We arrived, met our host, Antenello... and headed further up the mountain... to be deposited at his family farm... for the next nine days...

We spent those nine days riding and feeding the donkeys... chasing the chickens.. dodging the goats... cooking with Maria, the queen mama... milking goats with Giuseppe, the ever working papa... and being taken care of by Antenello... their entrepreneurial son... determined to bring organic farming and ecotourism to the mountains of rural Italy...

Highlights include hiking into the mountains to a waterfall... and returning to the sounds of bells... expecting a herd of sheep and bumping into a filed of grazing horses... learning to make traditional noodles and sauces with Maria... driving through the Abruzzo national park... to ancient villages perched on hilltop peaks... getting lost for hours in the high mountain valleys... and finding our way out... by climbing up a hill to a mountain top cafe... ordering cafe latte and reflecting on the importance of "keeping your head" and remaining calm... eating pizza at a local restaurant... eating fruit from the trees and orchards surrounding the farm... figs, apricots, apples, plums and pears... spending time lazing about... soaking in the fresh air... and conversations with other farm stay guests... learning about their home countries of Trinidad, Brazil, Austria, New Zealand and France... watching the boys play with the other kids staying at the farm... learning to grill, Italian style, from Giuseppe... horseback riding through the countryside... across rivers... to an abandoned church in the woods... and just being engulfed in nature...

Left the farm and headed back to the Rome airport for a quick flight to our last stop... Bratislava, Slovakia... a small city tucked between the Danube river and the Small Carpathian Mountains...
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