Monday, 7 January 2013


"WHO THE HELL ARE YOU?" - he wonders

COTTAGE is encircled in red

COTTAGE again encircled in RED.
CLICK on images to enlarge and very much more fully enjoy.
 This DESERTED COTTAGE cottage in the MONTE MALLARO area of the Nebrodi Mountains regional parkland is about 4 hours walk from Sicily's highest village FLORESTA.  It’s a pretty beautiful walk through quite variable peaceful scenery - up hill down hill etcetera etcetera. Really nice.

From FLORESTA one heads north for PORTELLA MITTA then its westward sharp left on along the quiet mountain roads – through lovely varying scenery and very many grazing animals along the way. The last kilometer or so takes you down and down a steeply winding narrow track which at times is almost totally shaded overhead by arching trees and although a narrow space there were sometimes cows sat in the shade there who were quite at ease as you passed. In the early years there were no reliable maps for this particular location/ area - one had to rely on a compass and in this way this location was just by chance visited.

Eventually you suddenly arrived at wide open beautiful pastures and the slowly dilapidating deserted cottage. I made my last visit there two years ago - HERE - alas that will be my last as there had been pretty serious landslides along the above mentioned steep final 2 kilometer stretch which has made passage very dangerous - and if you came a cropper there-abouts you could end up there for the rest of eternity.

Anyway during my 25 years of Sicily walking sojourns I visited the DESERTED COTTAGE as I have labeled it on a number of lovely occasions sometimes staying put in very great peace for a few days or so - there were one or two occasions when I arrived at the cottage from a reverse direction – down down down the steep tracks and across pastures and small watercourses from also very beautiful BOSCO MANGALAVITI - on these occasions I would have legged it from PORTELLA FEMMINA MORTA or even CESARO via LAGO MAULAZZO and BIVIERE DI CESARO. Such fantastic exhilarating excursions.

Above and below - having a good back scratch
on 3 ultra reliable trees! 

Well, the above animal photographs were all taken in the immediate vicinity of the ultra peaceful deserted MONTE MALLARO cottage pastures. What truly beautiful majestic animals they were. Sometimes there were one or two horses also and just occasionally grouting wild CINGHIALI boars - as pictured immediately above. Sometimes a local Contadini would show up - amazed to come across some South London solo cockney at such an outlandish location. There were often many animals here - these selected photos are of a more individual nature. Really really memorable and always a location to greatly enjoy very much in anticipation returning to. 

On one occasion as shown in an above photo I left in-situ on an abandoned old cooking pan bottom one of my poems and (see below) I also carved my "I.C" initials on one of the nearby cottage trees.  When I most recently saw the small carving (two years ago) it was largely overgrown due to the passage of time. Alas rather like my ageing leg muscles too!

September 1990 - I'd just arrived down from
Bosco Mangalavitti.  He was present and was surprised and 
did not expect to see me. And his dogs asked him
"Padrone you gonna shoot him?" 
and he smiled and said "Oh no!"

The above IMAGE  PLAN provides annotated locations details along the route to the 
MONTE MALLARO location en route to and from PORTELLA MITTA.  
CLICK on image to increase its size and visibility. 

For a full chronological list of all SICILY ABLAZE page titles click HERE. 

For a full A to Z indexed MADONIE REGION locations map click HERE. 

For a full A to Z indexed NEBRODI  REGION locations map click HERE.    

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