Last year, around about the same time as this, we decided to go for a walk in the magical valley above Amalfi. Last year we started at the bottom and walked up into the valley. It took an hour and a half to get there, Carlo and I had to take turns carrying 3 year old Skye, whose little legs couldn't take the pace.
Today we thought we would be clever and start at the top of the valley and work our way down, so we caught the ferry to Amalfi and then a bus up to a village called Minuta where we had been told we would find steps leading into the hidden valley of waterfalls.
Everything started off well. Walking throught the small village we found an old fashioned water well in a little piazza. We stopped for a drink and a boy came down the steps with his three donkeys tied in a line. We asked him how to find the steps to the Valle and he pointed us the right way.
"Down these steps and turn right when the pathway splits in two. Easy, you can't go wrong!" donkey boy said cheerfully. So we started walking and after a while the pathway split and we turned right...right? The pathway that we foud ourselves on was very old, many steps had crumbled away and it seemed rather unkempt, abandoned almost.
Below us was Amalfi. It didn't look that far away and we knew, from last time, that we had to go further back into the valley to find what we were looking for.
So we kept on walking up...and up... and up... until Amalfi suddenly seemed really far away.
As we walked we reminded each other how last year we kept thinking we were on the wrong path until suddenly after an hour and a half of climbing we turned a corner and found paradise. So we kept on walking, higher and higher until we were nearly at the top of the mountain and had to admit that we had taken a wrong turning somewhere.
After nearly two hours of climbing we stopped for lunch and I called a friend who knows the mountains well. I described where we had gone and what I could see.
"I think we've gone wrong! We're nearly at the top of the mountain and way down below on the other side of the valley I can see a sort of bridge standing on two cement pillars, attatched to a cliff-face." (Click on photo to see it.)
"Oh, yes.." said my friend,"you've gone way too high. That bridge thing that you see is a sort of aquaduct bridge that was built years ago to carry water to the paper mills in the valley...Er, you should be below that bridge, not above it. I advise you to turn around and head back."
By that time none of us were very happy. There was bickering, foot-stamping, huffing and rather a long period of silence after the classic statements:
"I'm never going anywhere with you again!"
"Fine. Good. I'd rather be alone."
Followed by "Next time can we go somewhere where Mummy and Daddy don't shout please?"
No more photos were taken for a while...Nobody takes photos when they are angry do they?
Tomorrow: what happened next...