York & Borgorose

Hike to Lake Duchessa
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It looks like they're baking potatoes in the fire tonight, which is good, because I have an appetite after taking the trail up into the mountains to see Lake Duchessa. We climbed a couple thousand meters through a mostly very steep trail, which for the most part was entirely shaded with deciduous trees. Up near the top, where the shepherds have their huts, the treeline gave out to wind and chilly temperatures, but we found the lake.

Unfortunately it's not too impressive -- mostly scummy from the cattle and sheep droppings, with no outlet. But that's okay, because the hike felt good and we had some very good views back toward the site where we're returning to work in the morning. Quite a few white, purple, or yellow tiny alpine flowers were nice to see as well.

When I say "we" hiked to lake, it was just a new arrival, who's here only until tomorrow afternoon. His name is Carmelo, as far as I can determine. Everyone else decided to head back 30 minutes short of the lake, because Dario thought it was a good distance further than it actually was. I really wanted to see the shepherd huts and flocks, but there were no sheep in evidence except for their trails and droppings.

We did talk to a shepherd, though, who wanted to sell us some cheese he made. We declined, having only five-Euro banknotes, and thinking it might not be the best idea to eat such made in unsanitary conditions without pasteurization.

My hacking cough, developed a couple of days ago, doesn't seem to be getting much better or worse. Blech. It's annoying for sure. I'm dreading it worsening into whatever I had earlier this year that put me out for two weeks. Probably it's just a bug from the plane or someone here, or working out in dusty areas.

Tomorrow I'll be on site until about noon, when a carload of us take off for Rome. For my part, I'll be at the Capitoline Museum for a quick shoot. I hope to back-post journal entries since July 4th in the evening. Sorry if it's overwhelming. I'd suggest reading only one a day until caught up.

Lake Duchessa, up in the mountains above our compound.

Our archaeological site lies just over the forested ridge in the middle of the photo. Other items of interest: the large white complex in the foreground is a cement factory; the freeway, built in the mid-'70s, runs over a large bridge and disappears into a tunnel.

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