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Friday, 12 June 2009

There's a sign on the wall

As we travel around central Italy there are plenty of reminders about the recent earthquake at L’Aquila, on the TV, in the newspapers and in the places we have visited.

Barrea in the Abruzzo National Park is around 50 kms away from L’Aquila: The campsite owners felt tourists were staying away from a wide area because of the earthquake and told us how their campsite had been used to house people temporarily following an earthquake in the 1990s.

At the Sangro river, 130 kms away from L’Aquila, one campsite was closed as it was being used to house people made homeless by the earthquake: We contemplated what it must be like to be moved so far from your home for an indefinite period of time. The campsite we did stay on were selling art work to raise money for a new school for L’Aquila.

We planned a walk along the Salinello Gorge, on the furthest edges of the Gran Sasso National Park, around 50 kms as the crow flies from L’Aquila: At the entrance to the gorge the path was closed due to a higher risk of rock falls from the limestone cliffs following the earthquake. We pondered over what to do briefly, but judged that there is always a risk of being hit by a plummeting chunk of limestone when you are surrounded by high cliffs and that we would proceed cautiously. You will be pleased to hear we survived to show the photographs of this beautiful gorge.

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