Climbing Monte Epomeo
The Monte Epomeo mountain - one of the extinct volcanoes that formed the island of Ischia and the highest point of the island. The height of 872 meters is not too impressive, but, through of this, climb to the top of the hill is not too difficult. The road to the top of the mountain starts right from the bus stop of the village of Fontana (map), but not Serrara Fontana, as informs the most of touristic portals.
You can get the Fontana village by bus of CD line from Ischia Porto or from the Forio by CS line (map of Ischia bus route). From a small square with a church and a taxi stand begins Epomeo Street (Via Epomeo) and i went there.
After a frighteningly steep streets of the village starts quite gently sloping paved road.
Along the road stretch symbolic fence of private property, equipped with gates of the old spring beds.
Behind one of those fences, I was surprised to see the boat. Let me remind you that the Fontana is at an altitude of almost 500 meters into the center of the island.
On a forks mounted signs - difficult to get lost. The total length of the route from the bus stop a little over two kilometers.
The asphalt ends, then goes a stone road. Right at the beginning that you can see yellow-blue flag posted, I suppose, someone from the Ukrainian tourists. After two days on the island I don't surprised - ukrainian speech are heard here more than russian, as well as in Naples.
About halfway to the top there is a roadside restaurant.
Then, the road has been going on in real wild forest.
In the morning the sun was shining, but when I arrived to the Fontana, the sky was closed of dark clouds, therefore, the forest looked grim.
Somewhere the narrow trails leads in the depths of wood.Up to this point, possible to ride on a cargo scooter (very popular transport in the mountains) has been going on a walking trail. The road here diverges in two directions, the direction to the Monte Epomeo is indicated by the hiking mark.
Finally, the sun came out again, and was fun to go.
No asphalt, of course, but passable.
Nowhere else like in Ischia, I have not seen so many tourists with pets.
On the right of the course I found a small cave - grotto of St. Francis.
A long time ago it was a small chapel, about that now resembles a low relief of the cross on the stone wall.
Gradually, the road turns to a narrow trail sandwiched between the moss-covered stone slopes. Sometimes on the way there are such "mines".
I suspect that the waste products of horses, on which rolled tourists, cleared naturally. Stone walkway covered with a soft layer of organic matter.
Another a lair.
In some places the trail turns into a real canyon with almost vertical walls.
I do not want to be in this canyon during a downpour, which are not rare in April.
Finally, I get out of the dark valley.
Under my feet I see a sign of civilization. How to appeared here a piece of reinforced concrete - is a puzzle...
Even higher the trail carved into the soft rocks of tuff that form the top of the mountain.
Finally, very close visible the target of my small trekking - the peak of mountain.
The final section of trail is on the smooth rock of white tuff.
Here the trail forms the a gutter, the most bizarre forms.
Presumably, in the rain here is the rough stream of water.
The trail takes up steeper.
Ahead - the most interesting and breathtaking - the top of Mount Epomeo.