What a wonderful day, pedalling up through the valley towards the Resia/Reschen pass. A famous and very popular bike track, but people mostly go down hill to Merano, then catch the little train back up to their hotels.
The mountains have white ice toppings. I’m very nervous about going up there.
The emerald idyllic landscape sweeps up to pointy peaks. I saw a giant weeping willow, an apple-packing shed covered with solar panels, apple orchards…the apples are still babies.
Then came my big moment, when I reached 1000 kms, since setting off almost 3 weeks ago.
It happened at the apple store. One helps oneself, and puts a coin in the box.
It was on that spot, while a happy Italian couple were kindly taking this photo of me, that ‘the man’ arrived on his bike. He talked very fast about cycling 800 kms in Siberia. The kindly Italian then told him that I had just completed 1000 kms from Rome.
It came about that the man was also heading north, so he rode along just ahead of me, raving about all his cycling accomplishments and who knows what. Unfortunately, these fancy cycling jersey’s cause some bacterial activity which cannot be helped. So following in his wake was not very pleasant at all. I did my best to overtake and shake him off.
I dashed into a biking bar, and hid my bike amongst a group of others. But that didn’t work and there he was offering me a drink. I plonked down next to a German couple and pretended they were my friends. They understood the situation, and played along. The man vanished.
After lunch, just 1 km down there road, I saw the man again, washing his shirt in the river. He waved at me going passed.
This was a national park, so I was happily cruising along when the man suddenly appeared next to me, saying something about the gravel road: “It’s only another 4 kms”
I overtook him again and went as fast as I could to the next town Prato Allo Stelvio. Thought I’d lost him. It was a bit uphill and he didn’t have an ebike.
After Prato, a very pretty little lake-side cafe beckoned to me, and there I had the most delicious Apple Strudel with hot custard, and coffee. The ducks quacked and fish got hooked. Took a little toddle to get some pictures of the blue water. Chatted with Simon on the phone. Sat on a bench in the sun. Smiled at the children.
When I felt enough time had passed, and the man would be long gone…. guess who was there lying on the grass next to my bike! He jabbered on asking personal questions about whether I have a hotel booked etc. I tried not to be too rude, but answered nothing.
Took a photo of him and sent it to Simon.
I rode off and there he was again, like a fly. My pepper spray and a knife stays in the handle-bar bag. Should I get them out and keep them in my pocket?
This is the Adige River.
The road that I’m taking has a very long ‘super’ history too, it’s called the Via Claudia Augusta, and was built by the Romans in 15 BC. A military road over the Resia pass. You can see all the details on Wikipedia.
The wind came down from the pass and it was quite hard going on the uphills. The man couldn’t keep up.
Arriving in a village, I got a huge fright when the man appeared from a side road, and crossed my path shouting “Ecco La”….there she is!
I pounded away at my pedals, put the bike in turbo and rushed up the steep track. Going as fast as I could, while my battery rapidly lost power. The track led through deep forest, and my little heart was beating at a terrible rate. The next village wasn’t the one I thought it was, and in a panic realised my battery would probably run out before I reached Burgusio where I had booked a room. Horrible thoughts of pushing my bike up the steepest of steep track while the man hunted me down…
I reached the top with 1 km of battery power to go. Switched on the google voice to tell me where my hotel was and got there in a flap. Hopefully the man didn’t watch me.
He will probably appear again today, as he knows I’m going over the pass, and there is only one road.
This is my bedroom window in the tower…
not really, but I would have liked it.
All fine now. This morning there is a strong head wind to negotiate.
71 kms yesterday
The internet here is very slow, and this blog would not upload last night.
Have a great day everyone!