Friday, September 28, 2012

Touring North of Lucca, Italy

Camper in background and tanker truck
 in foreground managed somehow
 to pass one another

In southern Mexico, Guatemala and Belize, tour operators earn a living driving tourists to various attractions that are off the beaten path. In Canada, my home country, when a visitor explores outlying areas they must rent a car. The same thing seems to apply in Italy.

The steep and winding roads that take adventurous tourists and locals into the mountains and through ancient towns were built long before the automobile was invented, and demand caution. Perhaps because of the caution demanded, locals muster infinite patience, at least some of the time.

Ahead of me, a tanker trunk comes down the hill, while a camper goes up. How can they pass each other? They form a blockade. Vehicles pile up behind the blockade. I back up a short distances and move my car onto a piece of grass, which fortunately allows me to move off the road and not down the mountain.  I put the car in first gear, put the emergency brake on, get out of the car, lean on the hood, and watch the show-taking place in front of me.

The truck and camper try to maneuver around each other. As the line of vehicles grows, so does the impatience of drivers and passengers. They shout and wave fists. I think someone suggests a call to the police.

In some fashion, and I honestly don't know how, the truck and camper manage to find a way to pass each other. The rest of the vehicles move on. When all is quiet, I move from my spot, start my car, and go on my way. Fascinating! Grotto del Vento awaits.

No comments: