Another week of hot sun interspersed with rain and the grass has gown wildly. We have strummed between most of the rows, and to my utter delight grapes are already forming. Now we must spray. I am learning the cyclical ways of farming and how to juggle time between guests, kitchen and the grape!

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Excuses for the time taken to post, blog wise, I have of late had a lethargic period, and of course when I finally set too to post the report, the server for my blog decided once again to collapse and I have been left without blog, website or email for most of today, however I must excuse my tardiness, and especially extend apologies to Alex who participated in the Gay Hiking Week we organised which involved some spectacular walks in the neighbouring Monte Cucco Regional Park and on the trails in our own Valdichiascio and on the hills above our nearby town of Gubbio all based at Bellaugello Gay Guest House, in the glorious heart of Umbria. Alex kindly sent me copies of his photographs and the accompanying report on the week.
Day One was overcast so a change of plan from the original itinerary was called for and the decision was made to head for the nearby town of Gubbio where we witnessed the Ceri or Candles being brought down off the hill of Monte Ingenio and taken to the town hall ready for the annual “Festa dei Ceri” on 15th May.
20140519-113944.jpg20140519-113957.jpg. We then took the cableway to the summit of Monte Ingenio and together with Mirko our guide for the week, enjoyed a couple of hours exploring the trails and meadows that overlook the medieval town, this time of year ablaze with wild orchids.20140519-114146.jpg
Day Two saw us off into the Regional gPark and an energetic ascent of 500 metres starting from Pascelupo through spectacular scenery, aided by Bellaugello’s handsome packed lunches and once again ably guided by Mirko, our professional and knowledgable guide.

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20140519-190605.jpg as you can see the weather was perfect.

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Day three and we were walking through Pian delle macinare , Rio Freddo. 11 km along amazing water cascades up and down hill. Hills full of wild garlic in blossom. Stopped at a forgotten village (val de ranco) for a lunch break. Great dinner back at Bellaugello created by Alec and Monica.

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Day four and we are at the top! On top of Monte Cucco and visit one of the most stunning caves (grotto monte cucco) in Europe. It is locked, you can only enter with a guide. Thanks to Mirko we spend 2 exiting hours inside of the mountain top.

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Day five was spent exploring the delights of the valley in front of Bellaugello. 13 km around castello biscina and lago de valfabbrica in the morning. We have found a few rare orchids at the lake. After the delicious lunch we spend the afternoon at the infinity pool at Bellaugello in bright sun shine looking over to where we had been walking that morning

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Day six 8 km around Monte Pratiozzo. Amazing walk along the crest between a few mountain tops. Great view to Ancona and coast line. The snow covered mountain of Sibilino are beautiful, where is Heidi ? Farewell Dinner in the evening at the house.

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Many thanks to Alex for his report on our first Gay Hiking Week and as guest editor of my blog

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if Alex’s report and photographs have wetted your appetite and you would like further information on future Gay Hiking Holidays based at Bellaugello then do send me an email: book@bellaugello.com .