07.06.2015 - 07.06.2015
We had another crowded breakfast as the bus which came on Wednesday was still here. But there was plenty to eat and the coffee was very nice (Andrew may have a different opinion about the coffee). Andrew wanted to hire a bike in Cortina and do some riding in that area. So Bill and I dropped him at Cortina and then returned and drove up to Passo Falzerego (it is like the place we went to yesterday – a collection hotels/restaurants and of motor cyclists who stop here to relax and have refreshments).
The walk we did today was more rugged and rocky than yesterday. We started at 9.30am and walked along a grassy area with a gentle rise into quite rocky terrain. The views around here are stunning with a number of massive jagged limestone mountains rising out of the pine forests and grasslands. When we got to the top of this part of the walk we came to a sudden almost sheer drop down the other side of the mountain and there is nothing to stop you – the lesson is “don’t daydream while you are walking in this area”. We then skirted the side of a large rocky outcrop along a “mountain goat” track. We diverted to look at what we thought was a cave and discovered it was a manmade tunnel which went into the mountain. There was another entrance – but there was sheer drop at the mouth of this entrance – again the need to be careful in this area. Another tunnel branched off and went deeper into the mountain but it was pitch black so we did not go down it. I have a feeling the tunnels date from World War 1. The Italians were on the side of Britain and France and the war came to this area. There are a lot of World War 1 sites in the area and quite a history in this regard. We continued on our mountain goat track (quite risky in parts) and came to another bigger path that led up to a chair life (it is called Rifugio Averau) which was located in a saddle at 2,432 meters. There were a number of large snow drifts on the way up and some were quite deep so we avoided them. I found it quite a strenuous walk but the views are so rewarding that you are inspired to keep on going. At the top there was a great view down the other side of the mountain – we could see a bendy road in the valley below and could hear the motor cyclists driving along the road even though they were a long way away. Bill climbed up a large rocky peak beside the chair lift to get better photos – he found great views from this higher vantage point.
We then walked back – this was a lot easier. We got back at about 12.30pm and returned to the hotel.
Andrew asked to be picked up at 3.00pm (but he was having such a great time that he extended the pick-up time to 4.00pm). Bill and I drove to Cortina to meet Andrew. After we met him, Bill then went for a ride, going north of Cortina. I went along the same path for a walk and walked for about an hour or so. The streets in Cortina are very windy and narrow (typical of towns in Italy) but usually the stand out is the main Catholic Church spire. It is the tallest building in Cortina and you can always use it as your reference point and your meeting place. Andrew said that the Catholic Church had a huge congregation this morning (he saw the congregation as he set out for his ride). We think it was some special occasion.
We had dinner in very nice restaurant tonight. Andrew and Bill had the local specialty dish of tortellini with beetroot. I had another pizza (this time with onion). It was a great restaurant with very good service.
It was another great day.