And again, I didn’t get a chance to hang around because of my tight time frame, this time in the Italian Alps. I stayed there for two nights and did two and a half riding days through the passes.
The moment I crossed the Swiss – Italian border I was in the middle of the legendary Stelvio Pass. As I didn’t want to miss any part of it, I turned right to do the downhill corners to Bormio where I stayed for the night. The views were incredible and of course I had to stop and take some pics along the way…
On the way into to Bormio, I saw a sign for a camping site. Perfect! Quick fill up at the petrol station …for nearly 2 Euros/litre. Ouch! And I finally arrived at the campsite. It looked like everything was shut, but the restaurant was still open. I walked inside and asked the lady if I could pitch my tent there. She said no problem and told me to set up my tent at the back of the restaurant. Perfect!
I set up my tent, headed to the restaurant for pizza and beer and then settled in to do my normal routine of social media work, as you do every time you have wifi.
The next morning I packed up early because I just couldn’t wait to do these Italian serpentines again. I was planning to do over 300kms, which is a big day in the Alps. It was 24 degrees at the bottom of the pass and 6 degrees at the top. Stelvio is situated more than 2750 meters above sea level and with every loop that passed the scenery became more and more breathtaking.
In the late afternoon, it was time to look for a place to stay. I stepped into the Tourist Information Centre in Griesbruck to ask about a camping ground, as the majority of the accommodation along the way looked shut. They directed me to Hotel Camping Ansitz Gamp where I paid 28 Euros for my tent. Ouch! The idea of being on a daily budget of $40 for accommodation, fuel and food is just not achievable in Western Europe, but you gotta do it because the scenery is worth every penny.
The next day I finally reached the Dolomites mountain range and I’m just gonna say it, WOW. The Dolomites are just something else! They are vastly different from the other ranges in the Alps with steep vertical walls rising to their pale coloured peaks. The sheer cliffs rise above a multitude of long narrow valleys. It’s completely unique.
For the night I stayed in Cortina d’Ampezzo – a cool (literally, -2C at night in October) little town surrounded by mountains. And the moment I arrived there I felt so exhausted… “Damn I’m so out of shape after my broken leg rehabilitation!” I decided to stay in Cortina for two nights to recharge my batteries. The next day I only did a small ride to town to get some groceries for lunch, but it turned out all the shops were closed at 1pm… hmm, kind of a siesta I guess. I went back to my tent and found an emergency herring can in my pannier. Yep, that will do! But the moment the camp restaurant opened I was the first customer at the door… pizza and beer are what I badly needed that day!
On the next day, I planned to be in Slovenia so I set my alarm for 6 AM so I could leave early and enjoy the Alps in the early morning, but that wasn’t a wise move. It was freezing cold and foggy, the visibility was poor and the only good outcome was this picture at a lake I passed by… mysterious…
By 11 AM the sun had come up and the Alps appeared to say goodbye to me 🙂
Duration: 5 days (9 -13th October 2018)
Total km’s: 626km