Day 7. 27 June 2006
Tuesday. Waking at five o’clock with the birds singing, I lie on my sleeping platform for a few hours more, dozing in and out sleep. I find this morning that during the night I had been joined, on the other side of the sleeping platform, by Sarah, but she has now joined the others sleeping outside under the sky, on tarpaulins. As I get dressed and pack my sleeping bag away I find that a 50 cent coin has been left on the boards next to my bed.
We wash and breakfast and slowly wake into the early morning light as John and the Italians join us for another day of work. Ernesto has not come up the mountain today and so Gianni and Benito have decided that there is a little more work to be done on the sheep fold. Amongst some remedial repositioning of some of the stones on the wall, they have decided to reinstate a third milking stool and gate, and to clear the fold of all the rocks, even the big ones, that Ernesto said to leave. We spend a few happy hours rolling large rocks out of the fold and down the hill.
After a break for water we move on to help renovate an old lime kiln and stop it getting lost completely in the undergrowth. With so many hands though we make light work of it and by lunchtime we are ready to pack up the our multitude of overnight bags and camping equivalent and head back down the nursery school for a lunch of sandwiches drizzled deliciously with olive oil and balsamic video.
A short siesta later and we start work clearing the cobbled path that leads down to Lamasano town. After doing the big job quickly up the mountain, we fail to finish the small job. Not that we couldn’t have done if we had foregone other plans.
In the slight coolness of the late afternoon sun we head down to the lake to swim and rest and refresh our aching limbs. After a swim we busy ourselves each with our own tasks. Some read, others sunbathe; John takes photos on his digital SLR; Sarah Jane works through her Italian course; I write my journal. Andy and Kate build beach art on the shoreline.
On our way back to the nursery school we stop in Puos d’Alpago for ice cream. Taking the lead from Jenny who wants three flavours we each have massive cones for €2,40 which we all struggle to finish. All that is except for Emi, our native guide; who opts for the more sensible two flavours in a tub.
Back to the nursery school then for dinner of pizza and salad, and down to the bar for the first time for beer and Prosecco. At first the barman refuses to sell us a bottle – it’s too much – and a few of us buy it by the glass for €0,90 each.
A little later, after Emi has arrived we make use of our native Italian to by the bottle we wanted which turns out being a much, much better deal, and, no doubt turns the barman slightly against us.
Walking back up through the town, just before midnight, we watch the fireflies, hundreds of them, dancing like fairies into the night. Surely a night like this is when myths and legends are formed and created.
Day 8: Steps, stripping, and Americans…