Friday, 17 May 2013


When I am casting back in my minds eye on occasions over the years of my MADONIE and NEBRODI MOUNTAINS walking excursions a phrase that recurs to me is “SHADE HOPPING”. It’s a descriptive phrase that I have good reason to look back on fondly. It signifies that altho’ there were very very many long walks through beautiful shady woodland and forest areas where shade was abundant, especially during the very hot long high summer days, there were certainly other times along contrasting roads where in the blazing sun with my sometimes weighty back pack, there was almost no shade whatsoever to be had from the hot blazing sun.

Sometimes a combination of tiredness and lack of shade encouraged me to scrutinise the roads ahead very carefully indeed and at various intervals set my mind for heading for espied individual wayside trees which projected down enough shade onto the nearside road surface for me to head for with some desperation so that I could stop there underneath in the shade for brief although extremely very welcome rests. So it was that I would mentally coach myself to enjoy these memorable "SHADE HOPPING" occasions. Of course there were times when I felt grumpy because there was no shade hopping prospect at all on the road ahead, and I would just have to slog on regardless. There was no alternative anyway.

Sometimes, when the going was difficult, I would see a small shady location in the distance and hope very much to be able to rest beneath the roadside tree which had cast its shadow but when I got to the location the actual road system at the particular spot was such that traffic conditions made it impossible to stop at all – it would be too dangerous. Disappointingly, at some moments therefore it was more complicated to SHADE HOP than I would have wished. Anyway “SHADE HOPPING” was a memorable occasional aspect of my travels.

I will search through my photographs and if I find something to illustrate a SHADE HOPPING location I will in due course add them to this particular blog narrative.

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