Monthly Archives: July 2019

Como Commentary

Lake Como in Italy is a marvellous place for a holiday.

Majestic mountains, lots of attractive villages along the extensive shoreline, impressive villas with gardens reaching the shore,

Kayaks and boats of a variety of shapes and sizes criss-crossing the lake. And the chance to try out my deficient italiano on the few locals that don’t insist on using their English!

But …. twisty roads all around the lake, Italian drivers who appear to have no fear, teenagers riding noisy high-revving small motorcycles, and tourist prices for everything that are a far cry from the early days of the EU (EC!) when the Italian lira was a laughing stock currency. Now it’ll soon be the UK pound that’s out in the cold!

However, capitalism can still ride to the rescue! Having bought a bottle of local wine at an extortionate price from a village shop (it’s a small producer, and I know the family….), I found another local shop that supplied wine from large metal cylinders ino three or five litre ‘plastiques’. Nice wine, and less than half the price! I’ll drink to that!

Of course, the wine didn’t really taste as good as the genuine local stuff, having been shipped from another part of Italy and no doubt adulterated with other wines, but if you drink enough of it, the wine starts to taste OK!

I’m not sure if there’s a Br***t lesson in all this? I still love Italy and intend to continue going there, whatever our trading status. I would like to be more than just a trading partner – but I’d have to understand the language a bit better!

Miles of Stiles

A lovely circular six mile Probus walk today from Linton to Burnsall (and back again) in the upper Wharfe valley. An unpromising weather forecast and a drive through heavy mist at Greenhow didn’t put us off, and the group of seven headed off along the valley.

This is a familiar location to most of us, but Bill, our walk leader, rang the changes this time with an anti-clockwise version – plus a few modifications.

The hamlet/ village of Thorpe is always pleasing to visit – this time we were greeted/ delayed by a herd of sheep being moved along the road by the farmer. (should have been a picture of them here – sorry!)

Much of the walk was across grassy fields in rolling countryside- with lovely views across the valley and beyond. The drizzle petered out, and we started to tackle the variety of different stiles ahead of us, that allowed us to cross/climb the many very high stone walls separating the fields. 

Having been told that there were a number of these stiles on our walk, we started to realise that it was a large number

Coffee break on the bank of the river was followed by the sight of someone wild-swimming in the deep pool downstream of some interesting geology exposed by the river cutting into the limestone cliffs. Unbelievably, given our experience, the group relaxed in the certainty of a brief, flat walk back to Linton, but true to his reputation Bill directed us back up a steep hill, assuring us that this was a short cut!  It proved to be so, at the ‘cost’ of many more stiles – some with wobbly stones, others dizzyingly high, a few with precipitous drops after the steps ended! Consensus was that the number of stiles we had conquered was about 80 (but I’m not going back to check!)

A pleasant level walk then took us back to Linton, and a marvellous meal at The Fountaine Inn.

A superb way to spend a day!