Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Off through the Alps – 17 July 2010

The beauty of our campsite was marred by the all night revellers nearby. Probably they were unable to sleep, because of the extremely hot night, so decided not to bother. We, however, slept with our tent open, and only our mosquito screen between us and the outside world. Our sleep was, thus, regularly interrupted until 5.30am when, just as the lads had quietened down, the thunder took over. We reluctantly dragged ourselves out of bed and had just got the last item in the boot when the large heavy drops of rain started.

Feeling rather pleased with ourselves, we then found the camp office was closed until 8am, so drove to the nearest town for coffee. It was a pleasant town to fill in time and after finally paying our camping fees, we set off for the Stelvio Pass. This had been one of the high-lights last year on our Alps tour, and as we were passing by that corner of Italy again, we couldn't resist a repeat of this amazing road; this time travelling in the opposite direction. Before reaching the turnoff to Stelvio, we passed through Tirano. It turned out to be a great coffee break, as the Bernina Express leaves from here, trundling along the street near our cafe, and the church is amazing, making the town well worth a visit. We were privileged to hear the organist practising for a wedding and thus enjoyed both the look and sound of the magnificent organ.

The weather was fine for the pass, we left all the bad weather behind in Como. We were amazed at the higher level of traffic on the road over the pass, then realised it was Saturday, which probably accounted for it.

After the Stelvio, we planned another mountain pass to reach the Trento area, on our way to the Dolomites. The road was empty and the mountains passes great fun to be on without the traffic. We headed for a campsite on our map, only to find it was full, as was the second camp; finally at the third camp, we were able to squeeze into a small site, unfortunately the car had to be left at the other end of camp. Rather inconvenient carrying all our stuff to and fro as we are very used to parking the car beside the tent and only unpacking the bare minimum.

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