On our way to the west mountains surrounding Olivone, (one of the smaller towns in the Italian speaking part of Switzerland), my dad and I trudged up through the hills close to the place my mum dropped us off.
Since tackling the whole 15km way to Acquacalda would be very tiring, my mum offered to drive us to a village which was ideally scattered on the side of a mountain surrounding Olivone.
The hills we walked up through reminded me strongly of the cosy Hobbit holes dug in the side of a grassy green hill. As we finally emerged from the hillside of the small village, we were, or I was, not pleased to see a winding path leading steeply up through dense woods.
Although the ascent was tiring, we made it and made ourselves comfortable in the mini restaurant of the next village named Pü.
I drank a quick bottle of Rivella (a very famous Swiss beverage) and went off again, the map indicating that there were some steep paths ahead. The worst was not over yet.
When we finally emerged from the woods surrounding Acquacalda, we were both sweating, our clothes sticky and wet. The last slope up the hill of the Mountain Hotel was tiring and the first thing we did was to sit by a nearby stream and ate lunch.
The hotel rooms were surprisingly cosy and well furnished as we went to sleep, our bellies full with homemade pasta.
The next day was less tiring and we made a short ascent up a small mountain, the remaining hike being just a flat landscape with a steep descent at the end. However, it wasn’t the steepness that irritated me that much. It was the flies… Only in the fields, I could already count nineteen hitch-hiking flies clinging onto our T-shirts…
The last route down was also tiring because it was riddled with serpentine bends, making your feet numb and sore. We eventually arrived in Olivone before lunch and surprised everyone by turning up so early.
by Francesco Limacher