Monday, August 17, 2009

Passo di Tre Croci

The weather was perfect this morning. The thunder and rain of last night had come and gone leaving hardly a cloud behind. What was an inability to continue last night in the morning was endowed the virtue of precience. I would have felt an idiot to be sitting at the bottom of the pass missing the view.

I felt awful this morning. I didn't sleep enough and my stomach gave me plenty to be concerned about. As with the dinner of last night I did my best to get my money's worth, while my heat was into it my stomach wasn't.

The descent was pure joy. It was a bit cold so I took it slow and took in the glorious view that came for free with it. Once in Canazei normal life partially reasserted itself in the form of long slow lines of cars filled with visitors just like me. It was a cute little town but I was glad to be out. As much as I recognise that I am a tourist and enjoy the services that are made available for tourists I don't like to see too many of them when I travel.

It seems not that many were others were going in my direction so once I started the climb up to the Passo Fedaia I had the road mostly to myself. The climb was nice with the Marmolada opening itself up to my personal view as I went up. Without too much stress I found myself at the top and as soon as I'd taken enough photos I continued down the other side - people to see, places to go ...

I'd been rather dreading the second climb of the day. The road to it started off quite low and climbed quite a lot. From the Fedaia there was a drop of 1000m all of which and more needed to be regained. Some of the road had the now feared double arrows, meaning steep I'd learned earlier to avoid roads marked with a triple arrow. It was almost impossible to avoid the double arrow roads around here.

It started nicely and not too hard in thick forest. Once the forest was gone the hurting really begun. And so did a wonderful view. Eventually I got to the top and the view was even better than I could have imagined. I think I can say that never have I reach the top of a hill on a bike and been better rewarded. I am glad that I didn't listen to that part of me that always makes stupid suggestions, this time indicating that there was an alternative and significantly easier way to get to where I wanted to go.

The descent lasted a while and took me into the tourist metropolis of the region, Cortina d'Ampezzo. I shopped for food and got out as soon as the one-way road system would allow.

On the way up the last and by far easiest climb of the day I ate dinner in a road side restaurant. On the other side of the Passo di Tre Croci I slipped down a little unpaved side road and set up my little camping hammock in some trees at 1729m in altitude. During the night I could hear hunters out and about shooting at things. The sounds of shots never got close but it didn't make me feel comfortable.

Distance 94km
Average speed 14km/hr
6 hours & 41 minutes
2255 kcaleries
Total ascent 2586m
GPS N 46º33.333 E 012º12.828

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