Alps - Day 14 : The hidden pass
At night it had been pretty cold. The rats had luckily left us and the bread alone. The baguette we had bought yesterday had been under Bram's straps in the rain. At night we had put it inside, but the top was still completely wet. It was very gross but we didn't have anything else to eat. We just put a lot of chocolate spread on top to get some energy and hide the taste.
The next challenge was putting on our wet cycling clothes. The first hour of cycling felt really cold, but at least it had stopped raining. A map by the side of the road indicated there would be a store in a nearby village. When we arrived we first saw a very ugly factory build over a river. Then a petrol station. It seemed like that was the entire village. In a few villages we could see the exit sign before entering, they were that small. We bought some food at the petrol station. Again the nasty croissants with vanilla filling and an infinite shelf life. Likely we won't be able to go to the bathroom for the rest of the week. That would save time we can spend cycling. There were two men and the sales clerk at the petrol station. The two guys were both drinking beer, at 10 in the morning. One of them smelled worse than we did, while we had slept among rats.
After a few very small villages we needed to climb another mountain. This one was pretty easy, along the way we took some picture of the Slovenian landscape.
Slovenia doesn't have high mountains like the Alps
After the descent we arrived in a 'city'. On the map it was depicted as a large white circle. Normally that meant a pretty big city with a ring road. Here the 'big city' was a village with barely 500 houses and one supermarket. The next village was larger and there were a lot of Dutch people. It also had a nice lake.
The lake at Jesenice.
This was one of the larger cities
In the town were a lot of Dutch people
After Jesenice we followed a large road. In something that actually looked like a city we sat down for lunch. After a while a boy and a homeless man sat down next to us. In France the homeless guy with his rats had been funny, but this one was annoying. He smelled and carried a cardboard box of wine and he had already finished one earlier that day. He was just mumbling a lot and talking with the boy. I was glad when we were done eating.
Cycling over the large road went pretty fast, we raced back into Italy. By taking the large road we cut part of the route, including 3 mountains. Because of that we were a bit better on schedule. Now we only needed to climb a 530 meter high pass, and then hopefully descent 23 kilometers to the campsite. It was around 6 o'clock, which meant we would arrive at the campsite early for a change. We were already at 200 meters of elevation, so the 530 meter high pass should be easy.
After half an hour of climbing we still didn't see the summit. Apparently we had started from a lower elevation than we thought. The summit should show up pretty soon. A while later we still didn't see it. We definitely had climbed 530 meters by now. After over an hour of climbing we saw a sign '1000 meters'. OOOH no, please don't let the mountain be 1530 m instead of 530 m. The map definitely said 530 m. Apparently we still had 530 m to go, which would take at least another hour.
Bram had had enough
Just a bit more climbing
Bram said 'you make some pictures while I continue'.
After climbing 1000 meters higher than expected we finally saw the stupid sign indicating 1530 meters altitude.
The pass was 1530 meters high
For all our effort we got two passes. On the other side of the border, in Austria, we found the next one.
Bram at the Nassfeldpass.
Bart at the Nassfeldpass.
This is where we came from
The descent was very steep, which had advantages and disadvantages. The advantage was that we went down with top speeds of 74 and 79 km/h. The disadvantage was that we lost height quickly. With a less steep descent you can cover much more ground. We descended so far that the last 24 kilometers to the campsite where still uphill. Those last 1.5 hours were tough. By the end of the day we had cycled nearly 200 km. In the village we found a sign indicating that the campsite was 1.3 km away, then suddenly it was 1.0 km, another 100 meters further we had arrived.
The campsite was again an Alps campsite and again full with Dutch people. At the front desk we could use free internet. The youth there only used that to write long stories on Hyves. The campsite was pretty cheap and we were given a pamphlet about how to separate our garbage. The only garbage we had was that pamphlet. We also got two tickets for free welcome drinks in the bar. After showering we went over to drink some beer. That was nice after cycling all day. After finish the beers we learned that they weren't covered by the tickets. At night it wasn't cold, making it one of the rare nights we slept well. Oh, we also realized tomorrow would be Sunday and most stores would be closed.
Distance cycled : 196 km