Borgo di Vagli - Monte del Croce Circular Walk

The start of our walk
 After a lazy, relaxing breakfast we headed out from Vagli (pronounced Valley) to climb Monte del Croce.
Borgo di Vagli from Dinah's Path
Dinah's path, the start of our route, lead straight out from House 1 (top right) where we were staying. Within a few hundred yards we started to pick up sign of Boar and Deer (the valley is a popular hunting ground for the locals), and the intense scent of wild mint - intensified further with every step we made as we brushed against the plants all along the track.

At first the going was easy with magnificent views: to the rear, Vagli, and to the right across the valley, Pierle Castle and the locals pottering in their small immaculately kept olive groves. The first tricky bit was a steep descent down damp shale finishing up by a small stream in an ancient wooded dell. The rest of the track took a gradual climb to the next waypoint. 

We continued to marvel at the views across the valley; the wonderful flora (we really felt the need for a book to indentify the numerous species - all new to us); and still the track was littered with sign of the local wildlife.

At the first waypoint we met a metaled track rising steeply uphill to our left and marked Private. This marked the start of what becomes an increasingly steep climb to the summit of Monte del Croce. 

Towards Lake Trasimeno
 The next waypoint, after passing through a group of perhaps 6 small holiday homes, turns left through mature oak woodland. The track at first level rises steeply with underlying ground rock exposed by streams formed after rain on the mountain - and perhaps made worse by motercycles or 4x4's heading up to the hunting grounds. But the rough climb is worth it for at the top are magnificent views of Lake Trasimeno. (However the views are, each year, becoming obscured as the trees grow higher).

From here the trees become a treasure for the forager - sweet ripe plums, blackberries, elderberry, sloeberry, etc.. You could easily make a meal for yourself.

The Monastery (& deserted village - top left)
On the final stage of the walk - from the small deserted hamlet above the monestary - the clouds opened; the wind blew, and we got wet. WET beyond anything we had experienced before (raindrops like golf balls - and just as hard - but not hail). After donning our 'waterproofs' we hid from the rain under the eves of a hunters cabin (tethered by huge chains to oil drums filled with concrete and semi submerged into the ground). It barely helped though as there was a massive waterfall gushing from the roof.

Eventually the rain stopped and we made our way back to House 1 at Vagli where we spent the rest of the afternoon and evening drying out our clothes and shoes (spread out in the now hot sun, on the roof). But not before .....

we shooed away a huge female Boar and her offspring who we found making a pig of themselves on the ripe figs in the garden.

What a place! I should have taken more photographs!

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