There are two types of holidays in my experience. Sightseeing ones, which involve looking around various places of interest and simple, relaxing breaks. Our recent trip to Tuscany was the latter. Sometimes you can combine sunbathing around the pool in the day with visiting the local town in the evening but our villa was secluded to say the least. The local village was only a two-minute walk away if it was flat. Unfortunately, Villa Corrado was up a steep hill (and I mean steep) and getting down/back up was difficult for able-bodied people, let alone with a wheelchair. So, it looked as if we’d have to stay in all week. I didn’t mind as I was determined to get a decent tan.
After giving it some thought, we decided to take on the hill so that I could at least see the small village at the bottom. We decided that the best way to do it was to have two people behind pushing normally and straps on my wheelchair so that two others could slow it down. It probably looked weird to outsiders but walking the wheelchair like a dog on a leash actually worked really well. It was a bit of an anti-climax though when we did reach the bottom but I appreciated my family’s assistance.
The only positive to come from visiting Castiglione di Garfagnana that particular afternoon was meeting a lovely Scottish woman who was also shocked at how isolated the village was. After taking a few snaps of us, she recommended a restaurant but it was up another hill. We were all very dubious of whether it was worth the effort as our meal the previous night, at a restaurant recommended by the taxi driver (never trust them), was highly disappointing. However, hunger made us forget and acted as motivation for everyone to push me to the summit where we enjoyed probably the best meal of the holiday (lots and lots of pasta is always a winner for me).
From gorgeous sun to torrential rain. While we were eating, a storm had begun and it didn’t look to be stopping soon. We were going to be soaked but that’s life I guess. We discovered a shortcut, which would limit the damage, but we’re British and are only too familiar with rain. The hills were quite short and less steep this time. One more turn and we’d be back at the Villa. Sounds simple but the most severe hill gradient wise stood in my way. It was only about 30 metres down to the gates but the drop was ridiculous (70° and that’s no exaggeration). The slippery ground didn’t help either.
I’m still alive to tell the story so obviously the epic descend went without a hiccup. In the classic way that sod’s law works, the rain stopped as soon as we got back but at least it has given me a little anecdote about Wheelchair Boy being taken for a walk up and down some hills in the Italian rain.
Bye for now!