Tested for Life in Capri, Italy
tags:
We were brought together by GORE-TEX for a weekend of hiking, exploring and sightseeing on the island of Capri. I was blown away by how pretty it was as we walked off the ferry. It almost felt as if someone had dropped us off on a movie set. What a scenery to test the latest GORE-TEX gear!

Our group for this trip consisted of an interesting mix of other adventurists and bloggers that mainly came from Italy, France and Spain to test out some of the latest Goretex technology products while we explore the island and hike some of its scenic trails. Upon our arrival at the hotel we were assigned to our individual rooms. On the bed laid some amazing Goretex gear and If you know anything about me, you would know that I love outside gear and gadgets. I spend most of my time traveling around the world and do lots of adventurous activities like cycling, hiking, running, kitesurfing and motorbiking to name a few.

First Hike testing out GORE-TEX gear

The first hike on the Friday was the Sentiero dei Fortini (Path of the Small Forts) which runs along the the west coast of Capri and takes one past the famous 3 old forts (fortini) that the route was named after. Most of us decide to try out our new La Sportiva Kaptiva mountain running shoes on this day and then try out the Adidas Terrex shoes for the more strenuous hike up the mountain the next day. The Kaptiva’s worked really well for me and even though it was a hot day my feet didn’t feel hot or swollen like you sometimes get with many other waterproof shoes. All of us also loved the blue colour and the clean design.

My favourite things about the shoe was the sock-like compression wraparound tongue that prevented grit and water from coming in from the top and the sides. I also loved that it felt just as comfortable on the road surface as it did on the softer trails. They are also relatively easy to keep clean because you just spray the dirt off the waterproof material. Whenever I buy shoes, I always look for really versatile shoes that I can wear both for hiking and road running and that also looks stylish enough to wear with my normal shorts.

The hike was probably only around 5kms long but we ended up stopping so often to admire the scenery and take photos along the way, that it took us more than 4 hours to complete. Our hike finished near Punta Carena, the southern point of the island, and by then most of us couldn’t wait to have a cold drink at one of the restaurants overlooking the rocky bay and go for a swim in the crystalline water. Our second hike on the Saturday was the Passetiello Path which takes you up to the highest mountain on the island called Monte Solaro from where you have breathtaking views across the island and its bays.

The route is an old mule track and previously formed the connecting road between Capri and Anacapri. Our hike started from the center of Capri and almost immediately became a really steep hike with lots of roots and rocks. I would definitely recommend doing it with appropriate hiking gear and found the Adidas Terrex shoes worked great. Normally I would rather go for a running shoe design instead of getting myself a hiking boot. Firstly because I do not like the look of a hiking boot and also because I normally find them too heavy and warm.

Testing out Adidas Terrex Hiking Boots

With the Adidas Terrex I think they did a good job in designing a really good looking hiking boot that does not make you feel like you are wearing hiking boots at all when you have them on. I could definitely also see myself wearing them as a comfortable every day shoe in the city, especially on a rainy day when you need to be outside and on your feet a lot. The tongue is very different to that of a normal hiking boot and has a sock-like upper that hugs your foot just enough to provide extra support. It also gives you the feeling of a perfect fit with enough flexibility for movement as you walk with it. The Continental soles are also really cool and have lots of grip. I can’t find any fault with them but would probably have gone for the darker colour that does not show dirt that quickly if wanted to use them for both hiking and as a casual shoe.

The patch took us through thick forest with hardly any blue sky visible until we eventually got to a narrow steep rocky passage that we had to climb up. Without expecting anything at all, the trees then suddenly disappeared and in front of us it opened up to beautiful views across the Mediterranean and I could hardly believe how high up the mountain we had climbed. The weather up there was also completely different to what it was like when we started off below. It made me realise once again just how unpredictable mountainous weather can be and I was grateful that I had packed my light waterproof Arcteryx jacket even though I didn’t really think that I would need it. Before dinner we went to view the sunset from the Migliara viewpoint. All of us were mesmerised by the sunset and stood there for at least 30 minutes until the last light finally disappeared into the ocean.It almost feels like I keep on repeating myself the whole time about admiring the scenery and the stunning views but that is exactly what it is like when you are in Capri.

Being in Capri, you feel like you are in paradise and just when you think you have seen it all, it surprises you with something even more beautiful. On Sunday we went on a boat ride around the island, which was definitely one of the best boat rides I had ever done.

 

The trip then finished off with lunch overlooking the harbour at another one of the brilliant restaurants on the island before saying our goodbyes. It proved once again why the Italians are famous for their cooking and after this visit to Capri, I now know that there is much more to Italy than just its good food and wine. I want to see more and can’t wait to go back!

Author: Miroda Otto

Born in South Africa she decided to take 2 years off from working full time in the corporate world to pursue her passion for traveling, adventure and cycling. She got approached by GORE-TEX to become an ambassador and writes numerous articles for a mountain bike magazine in South Africa. She is currently in the process of finalizing a blog to write about all her adventures from the past two years.