Hunger and fear drive two men to look for a better fate on rough trails.
ino and Raphael are ready to leave. For their trip to France with their load of goods they have chosen an alternative route to avoid the German surveillance. If the Germans catch them, the prisoners’ camp awaits them. Or worse. To get from Chianale to Ceillac avoiding the guard posts, they ascend to the Longet Pass; then they move at mid-slope over the French border and cross the far away Cristillan Pass. A long crossing.
Hours of walking with the load on their shoulders; fear in their hearts and hunger in their stomachs. Gino has a little ritual: he always carries two hard-boiled eggs to eat. One egg on the way fro, one on the way back. But this time they are two on the trail and it does not seem as if the good companion Raphael thought of bringing himself a bite for lunch.
Raphael uovaAs heavy as the load on his shoulders, as light is his heart that knows how to cheer up his travel companions even in the most difficult moments.
Gino uovaSmuggling is a dangerous affair, but during the Second World War it is even more dangerous and Gino’s first rule is: prudence.
It could happen that the smugglers lost their way in bad weather or because the snow covered the traces of the trail or they were surprised by the guards. If they were surprised there was always one in the group who sacrificed himself by attracting the attention of the border guards. They relate that sometimes, after a nocturnal escape to avoid being caught by the guards, the smugglers lost the right direction and ended up in the Po Valley or the Maira Valley. Batista Manara of Melle and his companions, surprised by the customs officers at the border and escaping, mistook the valley and ended up in Bobbio Pellice. When the escape demanded all the agility of the legs, one hid the rucksack in some rock crevice and returned to fetch it a few days later.
Ottonelli Elisabetta – Il Contrabbando – Storie di contrabbando per i colli di Viso – Comunità Montana Valli del Monviso – Progetto Alcotra Vis’Oc
Ottonelli Elisabetta – Les contrebandiers – Histoires de contrebande entre Queyras et vallées du Viso – L’ Office de Tourisme du Queyras – Projet Alcotra Vis’Oc