Thursday, September 5, 2013

Cortina 2013 Day 1

Started of really early today, somewhere at around 5 o'clock in the morning we left Nesselwang. We had four cars: the Polish, the Brits and two German ones. As we were three British Citizens in dad's car (thought not for long any more), Betina had to use her old American English skills.
Inge and Heidi were placed to Vera and Paulina, so the two none polish had to use a dictionary (figurative).
First stop was at our usual petrol station in Austria to pay the fee to use the motorway. Was rather chilly and we carried on through Austria with a stop in the Rosenberg motorway restaurant (ham and eggs for breakfast, delicious). After that on to our final stop in the Dolomites, us four in dad Skoda talking about politics, relativity theory, etc.
Reached a parking place in the end and got our stuff ready, which means taking out and building together bikes, getting changed. I managed to get some water from a bar and we were s´ready to set of. Started of on a busy tarmac road going uphill and our girls had to get out of their long clothes after a few curves. It was supposed to be cold but I was fine in my short clothes. After getting out of their long stuff we carried on and overtook Group 2 a short while later. All the while a lot of buses and cars were going past. We overtook all those again as they were stuck at a …...... Some empty road downhill after that as the cars and buses were all stuck. And it went up and up and up. Up to about 2300m above sea level. There was a huge park place up there packed with cars. We had a short stop there and then continued on, along a packed walkway to the “Drei Zinnen”. Really, what was going on there was a country moving out. Dodging our way through the masses with difficulty as some just did not want to get out of the way we carried on a bit longer than was planned. Got some good pictures of the “Drei Zinnen” and then went back through people.
Went away from that overfilled path to a mountain trail. Lots of skidding and getting of involved, Paulina and Inge being at the front. On the way down we had a break for lunch and then we continued on, over piles of rubble, through forest with root, running rivers and dried up river beds. Reached the bottom with Inge only falling of once, but luckily nothing bad happening. Along a bit of tarmac and then 900m uphill. I stuck to the back and was mostly alone near the bottom, with Paulina paying a visit here and there (her racing up and down). Always saw the rest at short intervals and stayed with Heidi, Moni and Sepp on the last stretch of kilometres. At one point our four GPSs were surrounded by the mountains and got no signal, me apparently jumping back and fourth between two valleys. Carried on after some vote of confidence and we were on the right track, as we found out when the sattelites were there again. Reached the top after a stretch of pushing and had a drink in an Alm up there. Long clothes on after that and downhill it went along a rocky path. Stopped at one point and as I found out (me being at the back again, as it had gone uphill a bit), Inge had lost her GPS. After some panicky discussion, she, Paulina and Hopsing headed back to look for it whilst the rest continued on. Along the way we found out she had luckily found it and were carrying on. Us being at the main road again, Karin and Hetty waited for the rest to catch up to get the cars whilst Sepp, Heidi, Moni and me carried on. It went uphill a bit after that, but when we reached the top it was down, down and down into Cortina de' Ampezzo. Heidi stopped at a crossing to tell Inge and Paulina, which had followed us, were the hotel was. Reached the hotel exhausted and after securing my bike had a shower and then wrote my blog. Of to dinner now.
Track at GPSies, pictures at Picasa, a report from Sepp here and Dads blog of Group 2 here.

Time in saddle: 5 hours 10 min.
Distance: 42.8 km
Average speed: 8.3 km/h

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