Italy - Day 11 : Unexpected mountain stage
I woke up early. I had slept pretty well despite the music and the incline we were lying on. The camping also had a 'shower'. The floor was a wooden pallet, and the walls were made of green garden fabric. The water came from a big box positioned on a hill. The water was lukewarm at first and then turned cold. Still, it was nice to shower in the outdoors. As soon as I turned the water off, I didn't feel cold anymore because it was already 25 degrees outside.
For breakfast, we ate the melon and the bread we had bought three days ago. The first kilometers consisted of a steep descent over a bad road through farm villages. Afterward, we went uphill just as steep. The area was very nice and green.
I checked the GPS to see where we were roughly in Italy. We were now taking a shortcut to the Alps. I remembered from planning the route that Bram said, 'We can take a shortcut here, that would save some kilometers'. I had told him it would be very mountainous, but Bram was convinced it wouldn't be that bad. The shortcut didn't help because, around noon, we had only cycled 35 kilometers. It was a lovely area to cycle through, though, with nice climbs and few cars. The second climb of the day was the Passo Xon.
At the top, we searched for a supermarket. In Italy, many supermarkets have no windows, and their entrances are hidden in some corners. If we were lucky, there would be a sign on the outside. Around two, we started the last col before ending the Brenner pass. This one again was very steep, with some sections more than 10%. The summit was around 1300 meters, about as high as the Brenner pass.
Climbing the Passo Pian delle Fugazze
We passed two cyclists on mountain bikes when we were nearly at the top. It was a tough climb, especially because we had already climbed three other mountains that morning.
Passo Pian delle Fugazze
Bart at the Passo Pian delle Fugazze
Once we reached the top, it would only be downhill to Rovereto, or so we thought. The descent was pretty. We went downhill gradually, perfect to cover some distance. We had a nice view over the valley. The plan was to have a relaxing descent for half an hour and then eat a good meal in Rovereto; we were getting hungry.
In the descent
After a few kilometers, there was a sign 'road closed in 3 kilometers'. We didn't want to risk descending 3 kilometers only to have to climb back up again, so we followed the indicated detour for a change. Parallel to the river ran another road, but higher up the mountain. When we got there, it turned out to be a small road that kept going up and downhill. We went up and down continuously and started to get pretty hungry, we were also nearly out of water. After half an hour, we took a break to eat some nuts.
The last five kilometers to Rovereto were properly downhill. We felt we deserved a big pile of food. As we were hungry, we bought way too much. We ate about half of it and saved the rest for breakfast. As usual, some old lady was hanging out of her window to watch us.
We checked if there was a campsite within reach for tonight. Bram had scoured his groin by all the cycling. It was so bad even he applied lotion. I was also in pain since the third day, I literally had blisters on my ass from all the cycling. Those were nearly healed by now. There was a campsite in Trento, 20 kilometers away, and another one, 30 kilometers.
The road from Roverto to Trento was nearly flat because we were cycling through the valley of the Inn river. It was about 7 o'clock and we had to choose between the nearby campsite, which lay off the route and involved a 5-kilometer climb uphill, or the campsite 30 km away, which didn't involve a detour. We chose the one further away.
In Trento, a woman offered to give us directions to Bolzano. She said we just needed to follow the bicycle path and would certainly get there. After two kilometers, we had already gotten lost. Or rather, we knew where we were, but the road was blocked, and the detour ran straight through the mountains. We decided to turn around and find a better way. The roads were a mess, and we cycled several loops through Trento while not getting any closer. Eventually, we found the bicycle path at the end of a road indicated as a dead end. We followed it for a few kilometers until we again came to an intersection without signs. At least we could now follow the main road to Bolzano. It was relatively flat so that we could make up for some lost time. We took turns cycling up front and averaged around 33 km/h the entire hour. The campsite got in sight.
We arrived at camping Obstgarten, in the middle of an area of fruit nurseries. It was a small campsite with a pond to swim in. We were still in Italy, but there were only Germans and Dutch people. The owner was also German. He was friendly, and it was nice that he spoke a language we understood. The showers were excellent, with a thermostatic faucet and much water. We had a second dinner in front of the tents.
Despite being behind schedule around noon, we still cycled a good distance today.
Route of day 11
Height profile of day 11, all the mountains were in the beginning. Halfway through the day, we had cycled less than a quarter of the total distance (flag).
Distance cycled : 152,6 km.