A new challenge July 27, 2010Posted by sunflower71 in about me.
Tags: first aid course
A few days ago, TS started coughing in a very ugly and noisy manner. I blamed a piece of dry pasta and that I thought got stuck somewhere in her throat. To cut longer story short, we ended up at the ENT department twice in one evening to have her checked. Here, among other things, I was told that I had approached my doubt in the worse possible manner. I had tried to make her throw up and this would have made the errant object go further down the wrong pipe. There and then I made up my mind that I need to take a first aid course.
So after a little research, I enrolled and attended my first sessions, earlier today, at the St. John Ambulance‘s offices in Valletta. I’m very glad I doing this. Child proofing the house is not enough. Now, I think, I hope, my princesses will be safer with me from now on.
ps: During the session, I got further solid proof (not that is was needed) that my brain is nearly dead: we were shown how to check the pulse: count the beats for 10 seconds and then multiply by 6. Simple, no? I managed to get this simple operation wrong! This says a lot, but a real lot about me. Those who know me well will be laughing their head off! I desperately need to get the cog-wheels in my head running again.
Dolomiti (3) July 26, 2010Posted by sunflower71 in My trekking holiday, Uncategorized.
Tags: about me
Saturday 10 July: Rifugio Croda da Lago
Today we left home earlier. We had a longer trip by car to get to our starting point. The weather is very fine. The air refreshing. A quick coffee at Rifugio Staulanza and off we go.
1030 first break
Today’s walk is longer but easier. The terrain changes but is less rough than that of yesterday. I’m also gaining confidence and can now walk and look around me, not just the path!
During these walks I drank a lot of water but ate relatively very little. The best snack was my friend’s idea: dark chocolate and plain biscuits. Eating chocolate here feels so very very right!
Being a Saturday we also met more fellow walkers – tired or not, sweathy travellers, suntanned, capped and backpacked. Hm…. Today I felt, I was one of mountain lovers who take to the mountains every time they can. So here we met all sorts, the only common thing between us was the love of the mountains and the shoes. For the rest, no one really knows. We cross paths, smile, salute – hello, good day, buon giorno, salve, buondi – and proceed.
We also came across a considerable number of bikers. Here one can see where the mountain bike got its gears and name. I was quite fascinated by them. It was a challenge for me on my feet but they took to the slopes on wheels. I guess this will be one I’ll give a miss.
1300 Croda da Lago
This bit of paradise is our destination. People can come here by jeep from Cortina. But I prefer the way we came.
1400 The weather changes
We sort of cut short our coffee at the Rifugio Croda da Lago to start our way back. Clouds are gathering on the horizon and the air has turned chilly. We want to get back before it starts to rain. We walk non stop till we get to where we had parked the car.
1700 We beat the rain
We made it!
This field was at my left. So significant. Hundreds of forget-me-nots!
I have never felt as tired as I’m feeling today. I’m hungry, my legs feel like jelly, my hands are aching, my back is feeling the strain. I feel one whole mass to tiredness. I’m exhausted. But who cares? I’m not maybe a tentative intermediate mountain walker!
Dolomiti (2) July 25, 2010Posted by sunflower71 in My trekking holiday.
add a comment
Friday 9 July
0645: On the road
My friend and I leave early for our second walk. My friend is of the philosophy of leaving early and covering most ground before it’s gets too hot. I’m not so sure this ungodly hour is so necessary but I’m not arguing. She is the expert. I’m trusting her implicitly.
From here, at 1514m we leave for Rifugio Venezia.
We start an uphill walk in the forest. We walk for what seem over 100 floors of uneven steps, treading over tree roots of all dimensions. I dare look no where except where I’m walking. I can’t risk tripping. The shoes are indeed good. Their grip is simply so very there. I feel safe in them. Another equally practical and feel-safe element are these symbols that one comes across on trees or rocks. It is the red and white signs made by C. A. I. In the very winding paths, one can see from one mark to the next one so it is impossible to get lost. All mountain paths are marked in this way.
We walk non stop for what seems a life time. I’m out of breath often – a drink, a photo, or just to gaze up at The Pelmo that we’re trekking around – but always standing, just so I can keep going.
Then, when I know I can’t take another step, I look up and find this sign. I’ve made it!
With cows grazing in the background (read here: cows’ dung dotting the mountain side) and the now familiar sound of the cow-bells, my friend and I take a well deserved break. First stretching. This is what will prevent my overworked and shocked muscles from getting twisted into cramps!
I am so overwhelmed that I’m not even hungry. Strange but true. We change our soaking wet t-shirts. Take off our shoes and socks and lie down to rest.
1300: Rifugio Venezia
Here we get our water refilled. I cannot resist a piece of freshly baked piece of the most heavenly pear and dark chocolate cake. After all I deserve it! It was heavenly! I know I’m going to try to find a recipe for it.
The walk back takes less time. I’m constantly correcting my posture to tackle the steep paths.
During this walk I came face to face with my limits of my energy and went beyond that point too. I had never felt so tired in my whole life.
Not even after giving birth.
1975 revisited July 25, 2010Posted by sunflower71 in Life with 3 princesses.
Tags: my daughters, The Cherub, The Princess, The Star
These are my brother and I. I was 4 and he a few months old. I kind of have a memory of this photo being taken or maybe it’s just a very dear memory of snuggling in this cot.
2010. Different house. Different cot. Other children. Same cuddles between siblings.
La donna e mobile July 22, 2010Posted by sunflower71 in The Princess.
Tags: classical music, La donna e mobile
1 comment so far
We are still wondering where The Princess got the tune from….today she hummed it to us at dinner, starting off with the first words ‘La donna e’ mobile’ and humming on till about midway of this well known Verdi masterpiece. Now both my husband and I could be called above average opera lovers. We won’t let an occasion to see an opera pass us by especially a live performance. But we really do not belong to the category of opera lovers that have classical music in the background all day. I am very intrigued.
“La donna è mobile” (“Woman is fickle”) is the cynical Duke of Mantua’s canzone from Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Rigoletto (1851) – Wikipedia.
Dolomiti (1) July 17, 2010Posted by sunflower71 in My trekking holiday.
Tags: dogs, Dolomiti, Kayland, Nordic walking sticks, Pralongo
1030hrs – Reality hits in
After a late b’fast we’re getting ready to leave for Pralongo, Val di Zoldo, or better, my friend who is hosting me in Italy and who invited me to join her for this walking long week-end, is putting together the last few things. My bags are ready so I was told to stay out of the way lest she forgets something. Unusual role for me! So I make myself another tea and enjoy my summer edition of Intelligent Life while playing with Coco’s ears. She’s a lovely dog who I’ll be getting to know in the next few days. She and Daisy, the other dog my friend keeps will be joining us. Coco has her forelegs on my thigh. Usually it’s The Star’s hands I have in the same place every time she catches me sitting down. Outside I can hear sounds of children. A mummy is trying to get her two kids into the car. One is crying. The other is screaming she wants her red shoes. Less than 20 hours after leaving my children I start missing my princesses!
1100hrs – My first surprise
On loading the car, I can see my friend is putting two sets of Nordic walking sticks into the car. Till this moment, I hadn’t thought we’d be doing that kind of walking!
12oohrs – Kayland
I have now just bought my first pair of mountain shoes. They are the biggest pair of shoes I have ever possessed. After lengthy explanations by the shop assistant on how to know if they fit me well or not and after trying on a few different brands and trying to walk with them uphill and down hill on different types of terrain in an area specifically set up in the shop, we settle for a pair of Kaylands.
On the box it says they are both water proof and also let the sweat out. I now know our walks in the mountains will nothing like the walks, long or short we usually take in Gozo or Malta.
1330hrs – Pit stop
I’m holding Coco and Daisy on their respective leashes. I still can’t believe it myself but I’m so comfortable around these two dogs no one would believe that till now the closest I had ever been to dogs till now was several meters. We have stopped at this sideway hotel for a quick lunch. I’m dying for my first taste of real cappuccino. What they offered didn’t disappoint.
1530hrs – iphone
Settling down in my room at Villa Chele while handwriting some notes (what I’m actually using to write these few lines now). I’m now missing having an iphone to blog about this experience as it’s unfolding. I have to admit, I had never felt the need before. Maybe my next phone will be just that.
1630hrs – testing, testing, 123
We’re off on our first walk. A short drive from the Villa and we’re immersed in nature. Trees, trees and more trees. Mosquitoes and flies. Uneven paths. Rocks and stones. Sand and soil. And an uphill walk till we come to a series of narrow rivers of icy cold water. I’m struggling to find the breath to continue. I find different excuses to stop to catch my breath. To take photos, to adjust my shoe laces, to adjust my rucksack, to have a drink, to adjust the Nordic sticks!
But I know I can’t stop now. The atmosphere is too exhilarating! I still can’t believe it I’m here! Then around a bend we come to this beauty.
It has definitely been worth it!
The walk down hill was faster though not obviously. Parts of the walk were steep enough and rocky enough down which one can’t simply, safely hurry.
2300hrs – lights out
I’m now settled in and ready to call it a day.
I haven’t given up… July 16, 2010Posted by sunflower71 in about me.
add a comment
Just in case anyone wondered….
The last couple of weeks were taken up by the preparations to leave my family, my 5 day break in the mountains (more about this later) and trying to pick up the routine again after I got back.
My laptop is being mended (I should learn not to close it when I get interrupted – which, needless to say, is often – as apparently, the cable the connects the two parts broke!) so I rely on my man’s. But the evenings have been lately taken up by family events thus reducing to zilch my time on my only hobby.
Moreover, the heat here is slowly but steadily reaching unbearable levels.
I guess this summarizes the past two weeks, apart from my holiday. Bear with me…. I mean to share all of it soon enough.