My way back from my last drop off found me driving past the entrance to Acquafreddo castle at ten to five. On an impulse I swung the wheel down the path.
At the bottom, there’s a little café where somebody charges you five euro to go up. I got an espresso as well. Then I started up. “Only go through the ropes if you don’t get vertigo,” he told me. It’s cooler than it has been but still sweltering. And it’s a long way up the dormant volcano to the ruins at the top.
I’m sitting at the top now though, in a shady patch. I’m looking out over the fertile valley that such volcanic activity some 25 million years ago made possible. Below me I just saw the trailers carrying the Odysseys back to wherever they’re going to be loaded into freight for Chili. I can hear the goat bells. The barking of a dog. The wind through the stones. The birds. When the road is silent I can imagine what it was like here back in the thirteenth century when this was a fortress and hamlet with sophisticated water capture and storage, basic agriculture, and no cars.
Two songbirds team up to defy a hawk just to my right. To my left the ground falls away to a dam and reservoir. Nature and human activity feel slightly better blended here than deeper into Cagliari. Even the olive groves have a slightly haphazard feeling to them, as if they have grown how they please despite the farmers best efforts at regimenting them.
Up here of course there’s ruined stone. A building designed to be the ultimate weapon, cracked open by time, thoroughly redundant a reminder of our hubris. Some of the medieval ramparts have been shored up with more modern earthenware bricks. Basic structures of rusted scaffold have been placed to discourage people from standing where I’m standing. This defensive weapon is just an overgrown hillock with some stone bits sticking out. It wasn’t even destroyed by catapults. It was just taken by time. It was redundant. I’m gonna stop writing and drink it in – the views and the history and the nature. I like it up here. It’s pointless and beautiful.
I drank it in, and then went and joined the throng. Plugging into social, plugging out of airhead. It’s a balancing match.
This is my last night in Bravo Resort Porto Pino. Tomorrow I will sleep in Cagliari and then off to Greece. I wanted to have some sort of connection with this land here – an hour’s walk up this volcano helped. Volcanoes plug deep down into the earth. I returned to the port with strange memories crowding into me. Something has unlocked through this strange dance around my nearly fatal dental abcess flaring up again under such odd circumstances.
I ran into Doctor John first thing this morning. “I feel like a new man after one of those things,” I tell him. “I know with antibiotics you should finish the course. I’ve got ten of the fuckers. How long should I go?” “You might do with one, frankly. They’re really strong. We use those things for bullet wounds normally. Take one today just to be sure it’s flushed.” I’m gonna have one tomorrow too, as I know how deep that abcess goes. Plus I had some pizza tonight. Cheese obstructs your stomach putting it into your blood. I’ve got seven left.
Just because I’ve got them in the bank though, doesn’t mean I’m gonna go back to inaction until forced. Roll on Hungary. Time to get this done proper, like a grown up adult manperson.