M.te Auremiano de Senozece
April 25, 2014
Friday and this is the Anniversario della Liberazione. It is traditionally a gita-outing day. The forecast is for variable weather today but the morning is bright and sunny and so we head out to Senozece to a trail that will take us to the summit of M.te Auremanio. I am told to expect a longer walk today – somewhere around 15 km. The uphill – dislivello- climb will be only 391 metres. This is because two to the group are in “training” for the Pilgrimage walk – Campostella in Spain. It is a running joke that they are in training because of course they are seasoned trekkers and more than up to the Campostella walk. They will be walking a distance of 150 km over ten days and so in preparation want to start walking those distances.
There is a small parking lot in Senozece with a signboard showing the trails. We start up the street between the stone houses and come across a house built higher on the slope and on the downside of the slope are two rabbit hutches inside a wire fence. We spot two long eared rabbits crouched among the tree trunks. Then onto the trail which starts out as a country road lined with the carsic dry stone walls. On all sides are green pastures and we are soon at a rocky knoll where donkeys are pasturing. There are some young donkeys, born this year, downy looking coats, with puffy faces and all doey eyed – really cute and they make me think of big plush toys. These donkeys have a light coat but also have a darker hair in the form of a cross on their backs. It is said that these are the donkeys that carried Jesus.
We are not far from Postujma and here we also see the devastation caused by the ice storm in Slovenia this February. We enter a forest of smaller and sapling beech trees. There are downed branches all around us and we have to literally pick our way over and around all the branches on the road. The capogita tells me – just think of this as another Step Class. And in fact we actually were stepping over and bending to go under the broken branches as we follow the trail up a steady slope . It is a bit of a slog stepping over all these branches.
We stop for lunch in Volce – a tiny cluster of houses surrounded by spring green pasture. The pastures are dotted with bright yellow flowers. Once again a log pile makes the perfect, sunny spot to sit on a small post and enjoy a panini. I am told that the uphill climb will start a little bit outside this little village. We head down the road through fruit trees in full bloom – white and pink flowers with a fresh sweet scent. We come across work horses pasturing contently, among them a couple of foals still weening. It is a tranquil, peaceful scene and I feel calm and contented.
We reach the trail that heads uphill to the summit of M. te Auremiano. As we head up we start to see the valley below and the peaks of the mountains beyond. The range beyond is M. te Nevoso and you can still see a bit of snow at the top. We are headed up hill through a deciduous forest and although it is warm and sunny we start to hear the low rumble of thunder in the distance. There are yellow narcissus just starting to bloom, lily of the valley on the verge of blooming, violets, a lovely purple orchid type flower that stands out but there are many other types of flowers in bloom too. Now words of encouragement – it is just a “dolce” , gentle climb and so enjoyable here in the shade! I agree that the climb is less steep than the one to Taiano last week. But never the less, the capogito sees to it that I get a couple of short breaks on the way up in the guise of admiring the panorama below.
Just before the summit is a tiny, tiny stone church with a small bell tower and a rope to ring the bell. It is perched in a little treed enclave. We take our packs off to admire the church and the view. The thunder continues low and intermittent in the background and in the distance we see dark grey clouds moving in.
The last leg of the climb to the summit is along bare stony ground. This is where the wind can blow really hard and cold and so there are no trees. I look back for a last look at the crest that we have been walking along to get here. We reach the summit marker and yes I agree it was not a hard climb. Now we have that 360 degree view that comes with being on the summit. This is only my third summit and I start to understand the thrill of being up high (even if this is not at all so high!) and seeing the world all around and below you. We have now walked about 11km.
The descent is again through the woods. The last bit of this part of the trail is through a ravine with tall beech trees. The area has been hard hit by the ice storm and large beech tree trunks criss – cross the trail having fallen over from both sides of the ravine. We cannot see the trail markers at all and have no choice. We cannot climb over these trees and their tangled branches. The comment is made that we are in a tree cemetery. We have to head up and walk along upper side of the ravine. Literally we are walking where the trees and their roots used to be because on our left we have the roots of the trees that have fallen on the trail below. We each have to fend for ourselves and find the best way to clamber over all these trunks and branches. About two thirds of the way across I am having difficulty with my footing. The angle of the slope, the loamy leafy ground underfoot, and I am not able to hold onto my footing. My outside foot cannot get a grip and all of sudden I am just stopped. I cannot move forward because I cannot figure out how to get a foothold. Luckily the capogita, always watchful, sees that I am not moving and makes his away over to me. With his guidance I am able to find some footholds and he talks me down and out of this labyrinth of fallen trees.
We are now back on the country road, completing the loop back to Senozece, and luckily no sign of rain.
The walk was 16.52km long and we walked for about 6 hours including the breaks. Another stunningly beautiful walk over and time for a nice dinner!