Showing posts from July, 2016

Day 50: St Moritz to Cortina D'Ampezzo, Italy. 300km 8.5hrs

Blue skies for the last few days have been marvellous. A little drizzle overnight won't last. One of the good things about traversing longish distances  is that the weather is likely to change Today we are riding over the Bernina Pass, the Stelvio Pass- the biggest one of them all ( 2,757m  9045') Sella Pass, and passes in the Dolomites.
Our morning routine is very well established. Most of the  packing is done before we have breakfast  This morning our breakfast is overseen by a  huge moose.
Off we ride, A day filled with hair pin bends. Too many to count.  At the beginning of most ascents and descents the number of tornanti  or hairpins is signposted. Each corner is numbered and often the altitude is shown. I count them off. 48 tornanti on the descent of Stelvio. 
I prefer being outside of the curve and we can gracefully ride around, Being  on the inside of the curve when ascending is another story. It's like being in any tight space... Slowly and cautiously my expert driver manouvres h…

Day 49: Andermatt, Switzerland to St Moritz, via Italy. 310 Km 5 alpine passes, 9 hours.

Words of encouragement are gifts we can freely give and freely receive.
Today I was thinking about who inspired me to get on the back of the bike in the first place.Especially since we were riding high mountain passes.So, today I want to thank Andrea Thompson, whose enthusiasm, delight and vivid description of her ride with Stuart Burns in the Indian Himalayas was infectious.Andrea's encouragement in 2010 made me think that maybe I should try again to ride pillion with Dick.Since then we have been 'on the road' in 36 countries, ridden over 130,000km and have met wonderful friends along the way.Thank you, for your encouragement Andrea.
When I looked out the window this morning I saw a promise of a wonderful day.
Dick has planned a day riding mountain passes.Five major passes,Narrow roads, winding roads, tight corners, motorways, tunnels, viaductsLots of high places.Oberal pass,  Lucomagna  Pass, St Bernadino Pass, Splugen Pass,  Maloja  Pass.Most with hydro dams at the summit …

Day48: Klausenpass to Andermatt, Switzerland.

The sun is up Breakfast is served, Orlanda is packed, Let's ride some more mountain passes. 
First we descend the winding roads of Klausen Pass to the mid alp and to the lower alp and to the valley floor near Fluelen, Then up Susten pass where there is snow along the road side. The altitude is 2224m or 7,296' Talking with other bikers over coffee and then off we go.
Descent, A ride along the valley floor to a discrete, almost hidden, entry to the road to Engstlnalp. We wend our way up the narrow  Switch backs to the valley at the middle alp. A barrier across the road opens with the payment of 4CHF We follow the stream up the valley and ascend to the upper alp and... There in her pink and turquoise glory is the Engstlnalp hotel. We have stayed there on two occasions- on our own walking expedition across the alps and also with an International group from Outward Bound that Dick organised. Same warm welcome. The cows are up here this time. I have videoed them eating and their cowbells clanging eve…