Saturday, March 24
My head is filled with dreams of caves again. While the rain fell outside the shop Mario wandered in for a chat, leaving his Aladdins Cave style shop unattended, knowing that no one would pass while the rain fell. It occurred to me that as Mario lived fairly high up the mountain he might know of some caves for me to discover.
In fact a couple of years ago Carlo spent a fruitless morning with two rockclimbers, searching for an elusive cave system rumoured to be somewhere above Marios house.
"Mario, do you know of a large cave somewhere above your house?" I asked.
"Hmmm, yes there is one. I remember my grandfather told us tales about it. You have to come off the pathway and there's a wall, but it's very hard to see as it's the same colour as the mountain. The entrance to the cave is hidden behind the wall."
"Is it easy to get to?"
"I think you'd need some ropes or a ladder. I seem to remember that there are steps cut into the rock leading up to the wall, but they finish before you arrive, there are steps missing.
The caves used to be used by bandits that would hide in them. They probably built the steps like that on purpose so that they couldn't be followed, and probably had a ropeladder to get up to the cave. That's why the wall is there too, so that you can't see the entrance of the cave."
"Do you know how big the cave is? The guys that took Carlo had heard that it was huge inside."
"I remember people said that it went right through to the other side of the mountain. The bandits would go through the caves and escape into the next valley. But I think the entrance on the other side of the mountain got blocked or closed up."
"Do you know where the entrance with the wall is?"
"Yes, it's difficult to see, but I know where it is. You'll find it if you look hard enough."
"But Carlo spent a whole morning up there searching, it must be very well hidden. Or maybe they were looking in the wrong place..."
Mario suddenly remembered that he'd left his shop unattended and hurried away down the alleyway. I sat and contemplated my next potholing expedition. Maybe I should arrange to go with the experts, the professional rock climbers who moved to Positano from Venice a few years ago and....no, wait, that is another story.
at 3:08 PM