Alps - Day 8 : Tough mountain stage
In the morning the sun was shining. In the town we found a bakery that was open despite it being a Sunday. First we needed to get some Swiss Francs. We bought a bread of a kilo. When I asked for a second one the lady behind the counter looked confused. A normal person can live a week of such a bread, but we could eat two a day now we were cycling so much. The first pass of the day was very tough. It was so steep that even in my smallest gear I couldn't cycle comfortably. We were still accustomed to long climbs from last vacation though. This mountain had an elevation difference of over 1200 meters. Halfway up I stopped to 'take a picture', which was our typical excuse for when things got too hard.
View from the Flüelapas
Snow covered mountains in the background
Workers were renewing the road at some places. Usually they closed off one half of the road and put traffic lights on either end to allow the traffic through in turns. Because we were much slower than cars the light would change multiple times before we reached the end. The car drivers didn't always like us because of that :)
To not hold up the traffic behind us we usually already started cycling when the light was still red. One time a driver started honking a lot. We should have waited and then cycle directly in front of his car, then he would probably learn why we hadn't waited for the green light.
After more than 2 hours of climbing we reached the top. It was pretty there, with a nice mountain lake. We ate some ice cream together with the other cyclists up there.
Thee Flüelapass, the first tough climb in the Alps.
View during the descent.
In the next village we continued eating the two kilo bread. It kept being hilly for a while.
Classic village in the Alps
Because it was sunny we wore shorts and a t-shirt. There was one descent with a tunnel 2700 meters long. It felt like riding from the warm sun into a freezer. For five minutes it was super cold. Finally we saw some light at the end of the tunnel and the sun returned.
While climbing the Julierpass.
During the evening we needed to climb another pass. This one was less steep but still high. Near the top we had dinner and noticed a groundhog. The sun was getting low when we reached the summit. There were some other people, one of whom took our picture.
On top of the Julierpass in the setting sun
There was also a car on top, with a girl in the back who was smiling at us. Of course I needed to cough again. I had a cold the entire week. Now I felt better but the coughing hadn't gone away because of all the rain.
During the descent
In the descent we saw a campsite, although according to the map there would only be one in the next village. We still had enough time left to get there, but didn't want to cycle all the way there only to find it was an error on the map. At the campsite's front desk was a basket containing free books, including a map of Germany that we took as it might come in handy on our return journey. There was also a public BBQ that smelled nice. After registering I asked if we could join.
Fortunately we could, they sold meat at the front desk as well. They only had one white and one brown sausage left, which we both bought. They were expensive, 14 euros for the two. In Switzerland everything is expensive. First we pitched our tent and then went over to the grill. The meat did include a free bean salad and bread. Since the BBQ was nearly over we put a much as possible on our plates. That way we did get a lot of warm, good food for our money.
Because the campsite was full we were assigned a spot along to the main road. Compared to the other days I still slept well.
Distance cycled : 138 km