Thursday, March 04, 2004

The Road to Frasassi

Last Sunday Antonello and I and our some of our caving buddies went spelunking at Frasassi, the biggest cave in Le Marche region which is about an hour and a half from Macerata. It had been a while since I had set foot in a cave (six months actually), and the practice was much needed. Climbing over stalagtites and sliding down ropes is an acquired skill and, when not practiced, can leave you aching and sore the next morning (as, alas, I was).

The sweetest part of the day, though, was the drive there. It was early enough in the morning that I was tempted to sleep in the front seat of the car (although this is difficult given Antonello's driving), and I was just yawning and beginning to nod off when Antonello stopped the car behind a small line of cars in front of him. A miniature traffic jam at this time in the morning? I was intrigued. It was only a moment though before Antonello spotted the delay. "Pecore," he said.


So for the next few minutes we watched shepherds and herding dogs lead some fifty sheep (and the cutest lambs) across the road. They walked by our car without even glancing at us, although we were fascinated by them. Sheeps bahhing away, clodding along as herd dogs barked at the ones lagging behind.

What a classic Italy view, and it's not like I have seen this happen often. But even if it does, Antonello was still smiling fondly as the life out here in the country caused us "city-folk" to come to slow down a little bit, to let time brush by step by step, for the passing of a herd of sheep.


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