It seemed a little obvious and prosaic to write under the title of Dante Alighieri's magnum opus, but the correlations were too great to resist.
Last night I sat and watched the Salerno sun fade and cooled myself with a couple of litres of vino rosso locale to hydrate for today's bumble.
At 5.30 am, my son Oliver awoke me and I thought it was perfect timing to get out for my day break run, just as advised by @ju-ju-. Naturally, I was feeling a little dusty, so reached out and hit the 5 hour snooze button! And so at just about 11am I set out for my crack of dawn amble in the cool morning air. 🔥
"They yearn for what they fear for" - Dante
It was a warm day, mercury pushing 30, beautiful panorama across the mountains to the sparkling Tyrrhenian Sea and a precipitous climb to the local village.
It was hellishly hot in the broad sunlight and the road upward and unforgiving. I approached the ancient and tiny cobbled village of Perdifumo and stopped for respite at the Convent de Santa Maria and to guage my bearings to the next level of the Inferno. And so through the village and onwards up the melting path. Out into the wilderness, barren lands, stray dogs barking, water evaporating and into a wooded field of dust.
"Abandon all hope you who enter here"
And sure enough at that point my iPhone failed. GPS gone. Map perished. Route unknown. Relentless inferno sun.
"In the middle of the journey of our life I found myself within a dark woods where the straight way was lost" - Dante
And again, so it was that the straight way was lost and I bumbled along a winding hair pin track, past Via Dante (if you don't believe me see the photo!) and the Perdifumo sports centre!
The once great Azzuri, now failed to qualify for the recent world cup, and I had stumbled upon the root cause of such national humiliation and anguish. This great and passionate footballing nation, clearly need to invest more in grass roots football. Or just grass! Ivy climbed through the broken goal nets and lizards bathed in the dust bath pitch. Onwards down the winding path and finally a road I recognised that would lead back to the salvation of the villa pool.
"Thence we came forth to rebehold the stars" - Dante
A very slow run to this point, given the heat and agony of the 7th level, hills, photo stops and navigation delays, I now had the gentle slope home and finally found a respectable pace for the final kilometre.
And swim. Drink cold beer. And rejoice in escaping the torture.
Different today, but utterly fabulous and rewarding and I was the fastest ever through a certain segment (level 4 with the twisted heads of envy,) that no one had ever been daft enough to run before!
I'll be back in my plague mask later this week, to conquer this hell in a better time!
One final thought... If Oldfloss had to have a welcoming note to C25K, and we know how she loves a quote, I thought it may be this...
"I am the way into the city of woe,
I am the way into eternal pain,
I am the way to go among the lost"
. - Dante Alighieri, Inferno (The Divine Comedy part 1)