PEOPLE WE ASKED FOR DIRECTIONS ON OUR HIKE IN ITALY TODAY AND WHAT THEY SAID

  1. 1.
    Hostel employee: "it's a four hour hike. Go up, you'll see a building, take trail 1"
  2. 2.
    Restaurant employee at said building (after a brief traversal onto an unmarked forest "path"): "down" (points)
  3. 3.
    Two young women by a car (two minutes later): tried to explain in broken English, one hands us map which makes us more confused, eventually point us onto right path
  4. 4.
    Cat: didn't ask it for directions but it scared us enough that we walked a few feet into the forest to avoid it
  5. 5.
    Extremely tan couple at beach: this is after we realized we went the extreme wrong way, aka an hour of stairs down a cliff to a private beach instead of on a road to a village. Couple didn't speak English but did enjoy posing for each other's cameras while eating peaches.
  6. 6.
    Couple on beach in hiking boots: "there's no other way to get back. You have to climb back up."
  7. 7.
    Woman sitting under an umbrella halfway up cliff: Caroline begs her to tell us how much further. she speaks no English but looks concerned for her well-being.
  8. 8.
    Man coming down mountain: Caroline asks how much longer, we're unsure if the number he responds is in hours or distance. But the number seems small and Caroline tells him she loves him (in Spanish).
  9. 9.
    Two men who worked in a small town market: first disappointment is when they tell us there are no restaurants in town. Second is that they say we are two hours from where were trying to go. Nuances definitely missed as Caroline spoke to the man who spoke French in Spanish.
  10. 10.
    Local church construction worker driving a truck down town's main road: we point to the road, he says yes
  11. 11.
    Man walking his springer spaniel: seems concerned about our well-being. Tells us the rest of our hike could be 2-3 hr. Points us down the road and to a path.
  12. 12.
    Man who emerges from his house after his two aggressively barking dogs: informs us of a wrong turn we made about 10 min ago. Tells us we would be in the town in an hour or two.
  13. 13.
    Women with two young kids on side of road: don't really have any information for us except for that there is a map ahead
  14. 14.
    Old woman seemingly emerging from her villa: "treinta minutes, in the town. Straight ahead"
  15. 15.
    10 min and some decisive forks in the road later (as we were considering entering a fenced off cave): experienced-looking backpacker shares his map with us, confusing us more, and tells us we should see a path on the right after 15 minutes, then 45 minutes steep down after a view of a castle
  16. 16.
    Guy driving an ATV stacked with food packages: points us down a trail and says we would see the town in 20 min. We try to follow him, which works until he puts his foot on the gas. We are mystified by how an ATV could go over this rocky terrain.
  17. 17.
    Man in campsite which we attracted to by overheard music: points down, says nothing. We walk off the trail, through the campsite, and start descending a steep staircase.
  18. 18.
    Two backpacking girls: they tell us we are close to town and we tell them they are close to their campsite. One girl has left her bag at a hotel at the bottom of the staircase, 20 min below, and has to go back and get it afterwards. We are glad to provide them with good news.
  19. 19.
    Old couple from Holland: woman tells us they've been hiking all day, since 1. Being the overachievers we are, we top them by saying we've been at it since 9:30. They tell us that we cannot get back without hiking back. Caroline sits on a woman's front steps to cry. The woman tells me there is a bus. It's a celebratory moment for all.