A cautionary tale of sunburn, insects and antihistamines


Umbria, Italy, 2009

Despite the punishing mid-day sun we decide to walk up into hills of Isola Maggiore.

We take the dusty track that leads up into the hills, the track circles the tiny island, it is a steep and rugged climb. We meet a few other walkers coming down the hill, we greet each other in our native tongues.

We finally reach the summit, the track continues its rugged journey, it twists and turns, thankfully now downhill, towards the lake.

We start to make our way along the footpath that passes through the dry olive groves, the heat is intense everything is bone dry, the environment harsh.

Suddenly we hear the distinct high pitch whine of mosquitoes, not just one or two but thousands of them. They fly towards us from the mangled, twisted olive trees; they can smell our blood and want to taste it.

We panic and scamper childlike along the dry path flapping our hands over our heads, we fruitlessly try to push the swarms away, unfortunately our frantic running only disturbs more swarms that sit waiting in nearby trees.

The whine of thousands of microscopic wings intensifies and we run faster.

Eventually we manage to outpace our tormentors and make our way back down to the picturesque village below. We find a bar in the empty cobbled street and order some ice-cold beers.

Within a few seconds’ huge wasps intent on getting drunk start to attack us, we decide that nature has won, we leave our drinks, pay our bill and make our way to the waiting ferry.

On arriving back on the mainland we make our way to the nearest chemist in search of insect repellent, antihistamines and aftersun care products.

Posted: by Leeroy.


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