19.09.2016 - 20.09.2016 16 °C
Reasonably early start to try to get over Passo dello Stelvio before all the other tourists – cyclists and motorbikes – but good to head out in the clear morning light. Amazing where they plant apple orchards over here – up slopes I’d think far too steep.
So, how to describe Passo Stelvio – take a look at the pictures and you’ll get an idea of what I’m going on about. 48 hairpins for the uphill and 38 for the downhill to Bormio. Snow at the top again at 2760m. We went from 23C at the B&B to 1C at the pass. What a crazy road, winding back and forth across the mountain slopes on the narrow little road, hoping not to come on too many vehicles coming the other way - concrete trucks (always one of these), buses, diggers as well as the usual assortment of cars, bikes and cyclists. Pretty amazing journey up, then down the other side with a few tunnels thrown in for a bit of variety! JT regards this as one of the highlights of the trip to date.
The views into the surrounding mountains were remarkable – quote from JT.
Stopped at one point beside 3 cars halted on the side of the road to see if they needed assistance – asked in our best kiwi if they needed anything and a good scots brogue replied no, just hadn’t replaced the radiator cap properly that morning (E type jag) and yes they had water!
We stopped in the thermal spa town of Bormio for a coffee and cake to celebrate our successful navigation of the pass before heading on to Colico on Lake Como, and our rendezvous with the Wallace clan who were staying in an apartment looking over the lake. Great place to be, beside the lake. Looking over the marina, watching the Italians promenading in the early evening.
Next day, following a misadventure navigating out of Colico, we ended up on the autostrada and couldn’t get off for 16kms (think tunnels with brief gaps for bridges). So our exit was Bellano, and al lovely lakeside town where we decided to explore the old town, found a gorge right in town (Gorge Orrido) that has been used for hydro for many decades. Awesome walking up the torrent in this small gulley. Then back to the waterfront to find a local trattoria “Trattoria Del Ponte” where we had a wonderful antipasto selection and a wine, served by a lovely lady from Thailand!
Then back into the cars to head to where we’d initially planned on the other side of the lake! A good 1.5hr walk along the lakeside to work up an appetite for a gelato before heading back to Colico for the evening promenade and dinner.
Looking forward to the next 3 days shopping in Milan with JT, Sarah and Oli.
Sorry - kids have run us out of internet so photos from today will be added later!!!!!