I’ve been rambling, more than normally, in Sardinia, where the weather last week was, to start with, not unlike the Orkney’s ; scene of a previous ramble. We do these walking hols, and generally go for the ones that include a guide. That is a human guide, not a damp book of maps.
There’s an interesting dynamic in the group walking thingy. I look at people’s feet in the airport to see if, like me they are wearing walking boots. as these constitute a bulky item for air luggage and most walkers wear them for the trip. When a fellow traveller is spotted suitably attired in said boots, the plan then is to wonder if you are going to spend the rest of the week with them, tricky. One such looked like an ageing hippy with his headband around rather too long hair, as if it was fixed to keep any more hair from escaping. The badges on his rucksack looked like a travel map, and all those showy badges was the sort of thing that one used to do when aged 11, not pushing 50. It was not to be, he was probably an independent walker avoiding the group effort. He would have been unlikely to have been a ” 2 booter” like us in any event. All walks are graded and a 2 booter is likely to be considered by ageing badged hippies to be beneath their dignity, probably. Him aside, that bloke who looked like a mini Jeremy Corbyn, seemed like a good bet.
This is all resolved at the arrival airport when one’s “group” assembles. Eight people milling around a young Italian who’s cranking up his English and blinding us with his beaming smile. Mini Jeremy is there with his wife, two women from Scotland, one who’s name I managed to misunderstand due to accent difficulties. Not something new for me with my difficulties learning Dutch. A couple from Lincoln, the flattest part of the UK and somewhere I have never been, but after the first day’s wet walking up Sardinia’s tallest peak in the damp and the cold, rather wished I had been instead. So, that’s nine of us: 2 scots, 2 Lincolns, 2 mini corbyns, me and the other half , plus Alberto the guide, all on a 2 booter to boot.
It got better after day one on the Sardinian mountain. Mrs Mini Jeremy had the good sense to forgo that trip and avoided getting cold and wet, this is supposed to be a holiday after all. Mr Mini, turned out to be a mountain climber who’s climber all the Scottish Munros, that’s a lot of mountains. Built like a whippet he had no trouble with the walks. The Scottish women gave the impression that they could go a lot faster than a 2 booter,especially when close to a Prosecco outlet. Lincolnshire bloke was the man with the biggest stride walking with the one with possibly the smallest, so he got half the holiday we got. I managed to keep up, this helped by the fact that usually on these trips I take a camera and hang back to photograph almost anything. I had my camera, but the battery was charging in the UK, no excuse to hang back. Mrs Lincoln spoke Italian very well which was an added bonus, so I also had the benefit of Italian lessons as well as the walking. My plan of putting an “o” on the end of any random words in English was not met with as much discouragement as I expected. Stonioi the crows.
If you have the chance, go to Sardinia. There is so much to it. Our guide Alberto had by now got his English in top gear and was knowledgable and interesting. We all walked over the next few days over countryside, mountains, hills, wild flower meadows, inside huge cave areas, by the sea, and after the first day, with hardly a drop of rain. I was asked by my other half to do a drawing for Alberto, on behalf of our group, who, like our experience with all of our walking hols, been populated by people who just add to the fun. I resorted to recycling an old idea, but for his benefit with the one here. Excuse the quality of the scan, I had to take it with my phone as my camera was now designated as a “lidl biscuit”: a lidl biscuit is an object or thing you take on holiday and it stays in the suitcase unused. I had 3 such items, the camera minus battery, an apple which I ate yesterday whilst examining my allotment back here at home, but had been to Italy and back with me, and a round shortbread lidl brand biscuit that I still have, just in case.