Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Europe 2012  Part 6

Day 16 0n the Road

Prad(Prato), Italy to Landeck, Austria

Heading to Landeck today with the Reschen Pass(1508 meters) my last big obstacle. It will be a long day on the bike.
Had more than my share of beverages last night to celebrate my little victory over the Passo Stelvio.

I woke up to a pretty chilly morning, plenty of moisture in the mountains.  Snow line from the campground was clearly visible not too far above Prato.

I took my time having breakfast, grabbed fresh bread from the camp bakery along with a few treats to have with a cup of tea, brewed on my stove.

The thing I like about camping, you get to meet so many people from many cultures because they are walking right past your door.

 I had a nice to the German couple who pulled in shortly after me the previous evening. Naturally we got talking about our bikes and the various set ups that we rode.I was really impressed with his bike. He was running a Rohloff 14 speed internal geared hub with a concentric bottom bracket.

What that means is no more derailleurs, front or back. Super clean look and a hub that will do 100,000 miles without a rebuild, just regular oil changes. It was fabulous. As you can sees, he was also running a tag along trailer making it pretty to ride on or off road. Anyways, pretty cool setup.

Another cool setup, the pod on top opened up into a great tent with hardtop. You just climbed up the ladder and into bed. Slick.

Looking up at the nasty weather in the direction of Passo de Stelvio
Glad I wasn't climbing up there today.

At least some blue in my direction.

Arrived at the little Village of Malles Venosta after a very gradual climb through apple orchards along the side of river.

Stopped for my usual coffee at the "first village I get to coffee routine".

Beautiful place surrounded by Castle walls.

 Junior bike race came blasting through town. Gotta love it.

Immediately leaving the village, you start to climb. The trail is once again spectacular. It winds through the farmland along a pretty, fast flowing creek. Most of the elevation gain happens in a short number of kilometers.

World War II Bunker guarding the climb.

You will be riding a lovely grade then boom, super steep. Pretty much like doing stairs.

Very narrow streets, the route is pretty much a farm access road connecting villages. I probably only passed 3-4 cars over 100km of trail.

Stopped to fill the bottles and check out one of the local watering holes.
Loved this shot of the mum hold her child while he had a drink.

Almost at the top of the Pass. There are a couple of massive wind power turbines situated at the entrance to the pass.

Typical view of the trail. All day I passed a half dozen cyclist(except the race) and a couple of cars.

I came over this pass three years ago in the opposite direction. Today I am going from Italy into Austria and will stay on the right side of the lake. Very glad I made that decision, the left side is further with far more climbing involved.

My lunch stop, enjoyed the solitude for the most part until I got guests and they decided to light up, putting an end to that moment.

Coming to the end of  Lake di Resia I ran into this kite boarding school. Hung out for an hour watching some pretty cool flying.

When they created this lake, part of the village and church disappeared leaving the steeple all alone.

Last little climb before I head down to the border back into Austria.

I love this valley.

My first view of Nauders. Being Sunday, all of the grocery stores are closed. I had thought of staying here but the day was nice and the further I headed down the valley the warmer it got.

Nauders sits in an upper valley with the road taking two routes down to the next valley below. One route drops quickly with many switchbacks. I should have taken that route as it was the bike route. It takes you to the same location as the other route which I took, which apparently was for cars only. oops!

It was an awesome descent. Snow sheds all the way with big long sweeping curves. Hammered it and only had one car at the very end who gave me a bit of a blast with the horn. Hitting 60plus kmh on a loaded bike is fun. Even stopped for a couple of shots.

Coolest part of the day, got to the bottom of the descent and guess who I should run into!
Martin and Blanka coming out of Switzerland, talk about timing.
We found a pub down the valley and stopped in for a beer/ coffee and some food. Pretty tough ride into  Phunds as we had all had a pretty long day.
We found the local Campingplatz and got set up. As the evening went on we were joined by another solo cyclist and four young guys traveling together.

I had never seen a stem as high as this guy's bike had, he also carried an amazing amount of equipment, could've sleep four people in his tent.
On the other hand the young guys tent was a ground sheet with top cover held up with a single pole, they all squeezed into it with two feet of clearance at the center. They had been doing a lot of free camping so i guess it was a pretty good setup.

Blanka cooked us dinner for the evening which I very much appreciated. Great way to end the day and off to bed.

My cycling buddies!

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