This is the first time since getting home about lunchtime on Tuesday that I feel able to open my eyes completely. The kitties are very annoyed with me because I ran out of their beloved tinned food yesterday and haven't had the wherewithal to go to the shops, so they've only had dry food since Monday, poor chaps.
My friend dropped me off at home and I forgot in my fog of exhaustion to thank him properly for giving me such an extraordinary experience. I unceremoniously dumped all my stuff in the front hall, had the most perfunctory splash in the bath before falling into bed. And there I more or less stayed until... well, pretty much until this morning.
I'll be working on a Thing about it today.
It looks like this: (my friend's photos will be coming, and will provide proof that I actually did it.)
...At the top it was surreal, like having climbed right out of this world and into another one. What impressed me most, apart from the surreal, dream-like quality of the entire affair, was the silence.
Being August, there was very little wind, and up on the upper slopes there were none of the usual beasties who make up the night time chorus down here. No cicadas, no birds, no insect or any other lively life. So each time we stopped (and yes, it was frequent, thank goodness my friend was very patient) what struck me most was the utter, utter silence, a sound one simply never hears down here in the swamps of dischord we call civilization.
We reached the top under an impossibly brilliant white moon, and by that time we were high enough that it was quite cold, and having done a mountain's worth of exercise, we were damp and there was a bit of wind, enough to create quite a chill. By the time we got to the very, very top, the sky all along the Adriatic horizon was all lighted with a pale, streaky glow. We looked down on the Cities of the Plain, all those towns and villages around Ascoli that are the destination of native Italians for their local holidays. Still, apart from the sounds we made ourselves, talking, setting up camera equipment, taking out snacks, there was no sound at all apart from the wind.
Waiting for the sun as we shivered and made jokes. The Adriatic was all shrouded with fog and the sun took an hour to appear, first as a little streak of brilliant ruby red in the midst of the fog, and then growing to a glowing red disk suspended an inch above the water, but even at that stage becoming hard to look at directly...