Sunday, 18 March
As we drove around the park, we came across lovers, in parked cars, making them uneasy.
No mention of the cow you encountered or your slide down the hill. How about the panettone and caffe at the finish.
At Ristorante Al Padovano no mention that one of the owners chatting with us about the snow and the menu. They seated one group after us. We took the dessert to go and it was really no good. Would go back just skip the dessert next time.
So much fun!!
When Roger was planning our trip to Italy, the original plan was to go first to Naples for a week, and then to Rome for a week. But, when we looked to see what orienteering events might be near either city, the only one scheduled was near Rome, on the first Sunday, March 18. After making contact with the organizers of ENEA to make sure the event was taking place, we reversed the locations, starting in Rome first. Besides being able to orienteer in Italy, I was also happy about this, since I think Rome will be even busier next week, as more people arrive for Easter on April 1. We are departing for home on March 29, after leaving Naples on the 28th…
Each year, from about October to March, ENEA Casaccia Orienteering puts on the Trofeo ENEA, a series of 7-9 events. From reviewing past results, I knew that the event have two courses: Corto (Short) – 2.5 km, 125 m climb, 9 controls and Lungo (Long) – 4.3 km, 210 m, 11 controls. I was prepared to tackle the Long, and I hoped to complete it in less than two hours.
It was tough getting out of the door to the event because Roger was still feeling weak, but he was feeling better this morning. But then there was the rain. I kept Roger telling that it was always better in the woods, and I told myself that I didn’t come all this way not to go orienteering. So, off we went, with just a little bit of a driving adventure getting out of Rome, Porta Pia area.
We arrived early, around 9:15, and no one else had arrived yet. However, on the way, we saw this sign, so we encouraged that the event would take place.
And, I was not concerned because I was told that it was to be a small event, and people would arrive just before 10 to set up. We parked and waiting in the parking area above the “arena” and when cars started going by around 9:45, we drove down the hill and parked near the tent.
I was welcomed by Vincenzo, who was the organizer. Vincenzo told me that it was muddy and slippery, and that the green was impossible to penetrate, so taking the trails was better, even though they were slippery. He also inquired if I was expert, which I translated as experienced. I assured him, and another woman later, that I was, and that I would return safely before the courses closed. Being an organizer at home, I appreciated that there is concern when unknown people show up at an event, and then they do a course which is too difficult for them. I didn’t want them to be too concerned about me.
The temperature was around 50 F (10 C) and intermittent rain. I paid my 5 euro, received a punch card, and picked a start time of 10:10. I did not take the separate control descriptions, which were in symbol format, which would be important later, perhaps.
The event turned out to be everything I expected. It was small, inexpensive, low-key, and, yes, pin punching was used, which was quite OK. Everyone was very friendly, and I believe they were happy to have a non-Italian come and compete at their event. The maps were not overly complicated, and were pre-printed. There were extra trails in some places, but I knew this and concentrated on the contours. The controls were in the correct locations, which is always appreciated.
I finished the course in less than two hours, I didn’t get hurt, and I wasn’t last. The slippery mud made it an adventure, going both up and downhill. Those of you, who know me, know that I love mud, and so that did not bother me at all. Even the hail was an unexpected bonus – the icing on the cake!
I couldn’t have asked for a better experience for my first time orienteering in Italy. And, I earned 5,674 points towards the ENEA Trophy!
After a long nap, and only a small Danish/pastry in the last 24 hours, I am starving! Likely, the only vacation where I will probably not gain weight… Roger is feeling better after a nap, so we head out to find a meal, which is not an easy proposition on a Sunday afternoon at 3 pm, since many places are closed on Sunday, and those which are open close at 3 pm.
The first place turns us away, but the second place seats us, even though it is after 3, and we have a very fine meal, not rushed too much at all, considering that the kitchen is trying to close – bags of garbage being schlepped out to the front dumpsters, and all that. Seriously, why are all the dumpsters in Rome on the front street?!
Anyway, a fine way to end the day, and Roger has another early night, while I enjoy the time to myself.