canyon exploring with Michele Angileri
The eastern side of Sila Massif features harsh young hills made of tender sandstone and conglomerate. These rocks are so tender to be easily carved by the streams, but they are compact enough to make walls more than 100 meters tall. So the landscape here is tormented, and the roads go winding for many kilometers even for joining the nearest villages, avoiding walls and ravines. Moreover roads often fall down with landslides.
In the tender rocks of these hills streams dug nice narrow canyons. The most famous among them is the Valli Cupe, situated in the
countryside of Sersale. Its notoriety is the result of a skillful work of tourism promotion operated by the Commune of Sersale within the overall
promotion of the gorges and waterfalls of its territory.
I remember ...
I have a goddamn vice: I always think to know about places, valleys and paths more and better than the people who was born and live in those places.
That time I was sure I knew the most convenient access to Valli Cupe, and it was different from the tourist path, the one used by the guides and their clients. I was sure because I had seen it on Google Maps satellite image: it showed an unpaved road going up along the Valli Cupe valley, ending very very near to canyon's entrance. I thought that road was not used by Sersale's guides because it started much farther than the other one, and because the road surely wasn't suitable to 2WD vehicles.
We were accompanied by Ivona, who works as a tourist guide to Valli Cupe and the other cascades in the Sersale area. Ivona comes from the plains of Poland,
but she lives in Sersale since a few years, in such a village on eastern border of Sila massif, surrounded by ravines and joined to the other villages
by kilometers of winding roads that sometimes fall down with landslides ... and she loves it! She loves working as a tourist guide because she loves the
hills of Sersale, the ravines, cascades, natural pools, rocks, forests, flowers, the climate and the very fine view over the sea and the villages perched on
Curiosity, will to discover, to see the landscape flowing on car windows while it's pulling away every thoughts but the game of looking at Nature.
Away the worries, stress, monotony, the usual ... around the beauty and a bit of inevitable adventure.
But our trip is going to end: a recent flood has destroyed the unpaved road. We can't go on by car, and Valli Cupe canyon is 5 kilometers away.
We try once, twice, by wading by car the dry bed of the stream (it doesn't make Angela really happy, being bounced up and down and right and left ...),
but there's no way but going on foot.
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