Free-Flowing Wine

There is on the El Camino di San Tommaso a fountain of free-flowing wine. It spills wine all year long. Yes, it is free for the drinking. Is there another such fountain anywhere? Historically there have been some in Spain, but this is the first permanent wine fountain in Italy, located in Ortona. Unlike other wine fountains, this wine fountain is continuous and free of charge.

The town of Ortona is in the region of Abruzzo in Central Italy. Abruzzo is perched on the edge of the Adriatic Sea before the Apennine Mountains. Its claim to fame is its Basilica di San Tommaso which holds some of the relics of the Apostle Thomas. He was the Doubting Thomas who wouldn’t believe in the resurrected Jesus until he touched his wounds.

Ortona is the destination of the Camino di San Tommaso, a 196-mile pilgrimage from Rome’s St. Peter’s Basilica to the Basilica in Ortona. This journey is similar to the journey in Spain along the Camino di Santiago, better known as the Camino de Compostela. There is a difference between them, though.

Back to the Wine

Dora Sarchese Vineyard

Pilgrims have walked the Camino di San Tommaso for years. Wanting to keep this tradition alive, Dora Sarchese Vineyard built a fountain of free-flowing wine as reward for those who made the long journey from Rome. That journey is no easy feat, so the winery thought they merited a treat. Tourists are also welcome to partake of the wine. Whether you walked or drove, just bring your glass or cup and help yourself to the Montepulciano red wine.  

Wine Fountain – Dora Sarchese Vineyard

The fountain is located inside a massive wine cask. For an armchair visit, see here. The Vineyard’s Facebook page say “the fountain is not for drunkards or louts. Take heed.

A Burgundy Waterfall

Take an organic compound like tannic acid which is derived from the roots of trees bordering a creek and the end result is a waterfall of burgundy color. The water falling over the cliff appears to be red in color. The taste is not that of wine, of course, but the waterfall is beautiful to look at.

Add that to the Barbeque Mountains and you have a wonderful cookout. Where is this visual, savory treat? This will make your day if you visit Dinira National Park in the Barbeque Mountains in the eastern region of the Venezuelan Andes. This is practically an untouched area, keeping the fragile ecosystems intact. The rugged terrain is without real roads, resulting in low numbers of tourists. For the intrepid, see the story of a trip to the waterfall here. It is only on the religious holidays of Carnival and Holy Week that the indigenous flock to the waterfall. This attendance can soar to 2,500 people, presenting some ecological problems. Otherwise, it’s a fairly deserted area.

Whether you walk the Camino di Tomasso or traverse the rugged roads to La Cascada de Agua de Vino, you will not likely forget these trips.

Fact: “Traveling tends to magnify all human emotions” – Peter Hoeg
Share: h
©: Other than sharing, the contents of this blog are copyrighted and cannot be used in any other way without permission.

Dahlonega, Georgia

I left Coker Flats, Tennessee and headed south to the town of Blue Ridge, Georgia, after which I made a beautiful drive up and over a mountain, arriving in Dahlonega. I was quite taken with the Square, the best I’d seen on my travels. I located the Episcopal Church and it felt like home.

However, I didn’t feel my traveling days were over. I continued up into Western North Carolina again and started meandering back into North Georgia. It was now October, and the rainy season was working its woes on me. I was cold, wet, and nearly caught the flu. I thought it was time to get out of my truck for the winter. But where should I go? I hadn’t gotten to the Atlantic Coast yet.

I pondered what to do and decided to head back to Dahlonega, as it was the most impressive town I had discovered. Once again (Missouri was the last time), I pulled into town on a Wednesday, grabbed the local paper and found an ad for an apartment. I was prepared to just pull everything out of my truck into an apartment and keep living as I had been. Though the ad didn’t say, this apartment turned out to be furnished, so I just moved in. Sunday, I went to church and the rest is history.

Dahlonega is a mixture of young and old people. The University of North Georgia’s main campus is there with a student population at the time of about 6,000. Some magazine in its yearly ranking of best places to retire had chosen Dahlonega as number one in the country. The town makes a good offering of the arts for viewing or participating.

I unknowingly learned North Georgia was a wine-producing region. I should have known this, as I had been associated with wine literature for 25 years. I had gotten started in this field when I was living outside the Napa Valley in California. I didn’t know where these wineries were, so I started exploring to find them. This led to the publication of my book Georgia’s Wineries and Vineyards: A Wine Lover’s Guide. Once the book was printed, I had a wonderful time traveling to all the wineries in North Georgia selling my book. This was the first print book I ever published. Despite going through 4 printings, the book quickly went out of date due to the changes in the wines produced by the individual wineries.

After 1-1/2 years, I found my dream home – a cabin in the woods. I had responded to another ad, this time to view an old farm house. This was not for me, but the landlord said he had this cabin which wasn’t ready to rent. I took it on inspection and moved in a few months later when it was ready. It was a 1-bedroom but with three floors. I arranged to have all my stuff sent out from Oregon so I didn’t have to live with only the belongings in my truck. There was plenty of space in this cabin to set up a home and an office, and I got back into book selling.

I tried selling books and other items in an antique collective for 1-1/2 years, but this wasn’t profitable. I tried whittling down the books via the Internet, but it was slow going. Eventually, I realized I needed to do something different and probably find a new home for the books and me. The economy and Covid led me to look outside the US. I took tours of Panamá and Mexico and decided I would move to the mountains of Western Panamá.

For five days, I had estate sales and ended up giving the rest away. My landlord bought my car. Suddenly, I found myself with total freedom and no encumbrances. I packed up a small box of a few books and some papers and mailed them off to Panamá. Then I packed some clothes into my backpack, put my computer into its bag, and I was essentially gone. I left the US with only those two items and flew south. Now, Panamá was really on the horizon.

Fact: U.S. News and World Report once named Dahlonega Georgia as Best Value Retirement City in the US
©: Other than sharing, the contents of this blog are copyrighted and cannot be used in any other way without permission.

Verified by MonsterInsights