Saturday, 22 March 2014

Down the Piave from the Source

The journey by bike from Cima Sappada to Monte Peralba was exhausting.  The return journey down the mountainside was far from easy too!  I had been warned by a friend (thanks, Nick!) that the rims of a bike heat up rapidly with continuous application of the brakes.  This is dangerous, as it can cause the tyres to explode.

A small bicycle on a big mountain.

© Peter Alexander Gray 1998

A small bike but a sturdy one, Una came apart very readily and folded up to store in a big cloth bag, so as to travel on trains and buses at no extra cost.  She also carried my cool bag on a rack at the back which contained water, food, and spare film for my Pentax SLR - no cheap digital cameras in 1998!

Small beginnings...

The Piave was another small companion at this stage of the downhill journey, a mere trickle of water running through the white rocks, yet big enough to cool Una's rims. .
It's down there somewhere...

© Peter Alexander Gray 1998

The river would sometimes be far below in a ravine.

A river is born.

But the Piave was soon augmented by rivulets arriving from all directions into the main course. By the time it arrived into the valley proper at Cima Sappada, it was already a river in its own right.

Not too late to save?

In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries poverty was rife along the length of the Piave valley.  

Many families abandoned property, leaving Italy for a new life in America.

Cima Sappada is the sort of place that stays in the memory forever.  Beautiful even in the rain...

Cima Sappada, a place to remember...

© Peter Alexander Gray 1998

But it was time now say my goodbyes, and to pack Una back into her big sacco.  The bus from Cima would take us a little way along the course of the Piave to our next destination.

Time to grab a few provisions and head downriver...

© Peter Alexander Gray 1998

This was the start of the journey along the course of Italy's third largest river, that would eventually take Una and me all the way to Venice.

Note: This blog supports readers of The Door of Perarolo, a historical novel set in Cadore, Italy in the early nineteenth century.  You may examine feedback from readers in the UK here and in the US here.  The Door of Perarolo is a Kindle ebook comprising 140 chapters.  It can be downloaded from Amazon sites worldwide.  The launch post of this blog gives further details.  The second post provides links to maps, etc.

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