Adventure: Accidents, Vipers and Wild Boars?

“You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.”  Matthew 12:24

Eighteen of us loaded on a bus that took a windy scenic road to a small hamlet, population 6,500, Gualdo Cattaneo on the west side of the valley.  Our first hike started with two guides: one for the advanced group, and one for the intermediate group.  The third group visited more in the small town.  

Pruning Olive Trees

We started out on the “flat by Italian standards” hike on a grass covered trail with wild flowers and olive trees everywhere. In Umbria, the olive groves are pruned in the middle of the tree to allow more sun to heat the center of the tree.  

Wild Asparagus and Vipers

A man was out hunting wild Asparagus with a small pruning instrument.  He used it to gather asparagus because he said “the vipers are out at this time of year”. Vipers? 

We headed into a wooded one person track on the side of a steep hill.  A man was in front of me hiking with poles.  The trail was soft and muddy. His pole slipped. He tumbled down the side of the mountain through the brush,  He tried to get up and rolled another three feet while we watched in horror.  The guides told him to lay still and scrambled down the sheer slope 15 feet or more to check on him.  


These two small ladies pushed the large man up the hill while we all waited and watched.  He was scratched from the brambles, bleeding from cuts and shaky when he reached the top, but nothing appeared broken.  The guide helped him to the nearest road ahead of our hike by placing his arms on her shoulders.  She took him to her mother-in-law’s house for some care, but he did not need a hospital – luckily. 

Empty Shotgun Shells

Hunter’s Blind

The group continued on paths beside creeks that climbed up the mountains.  She pointed out the wild boar tracks but assured us they, “they only forage at night.”

 We found a hunter’s blind for bird hunting and many empty shotgun shells.  One of the tour participants thought the orange shotgun shells were wild carrots!

 Vipers, accidents, shotgun shells and wild boars?  What a day!

Have you had an accident on a trail that required medical attention?  Do you know what to do? 

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