Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Stelvio Pass

Yep. Tick that one off.  It's done. Got the fridge magnet.

Ok, and a few photos too.  Well, the couple that I took on my phone, cause the others, and 1 of the vids we took should be uploaded in... only another 2583 minutes. <groan>

So, what can I say.  Well, refer previous posts re road conditions and other users.  That aside, it's both awesome and over rated.  It's certainly a must do, but really only to tick off.  The road is just too narrow, most of the couple of hundred insanely tight hairpins are blind and even with 2 sets of eyes and our intercom it was harrowing and stressful.

I think if you could be sure there was nothing coming the other way, and guarantee a good, or even just a consistent surface, you'd probably have a fantastic run.  But in reality, yes it was a big one to tick off, but really only to say Ive done it for what it actually is. Not for any amazing experience that came out of it.

It's 2751 meters high, so 200 more then the pass in Austria, loads of bikes and a real little souvenir market village up top.

So I'll post the best of the pics and vids as soon as they're uploaded, but in the meantime, here's something to go on with. For more info the Wikipedia link is here.

And just to finish off, for a laugh, and maybe in some way an explanation, check out this photo I took at a fuel stop this afternoon. Yes, it is exactly what it says.  When you add that into the mix of everything else... well, let's just say we're very happy to be tunneling out of here tomorrow.

Lake Iseo

Yes we did find the Ducati factory in Bologna, and the Factory Store, which was closed. No reason, signs and everything said open, just door locked and no one there.
So Italy!

Getting around this place is really hard. Nothing is predictable.  From the road surface that changes from barely ok to goat track and back again continually, to huge pot holes and cracks all over the place, to homicidal drivers (yes really).  Ive said it before, but lane choice is optional, speed limits are whatever you want, overtaking is done just whenever you want, regardless of oncoming traffic.  Undertaking a fully loaded touring bike 0n the inside through a single lane roundabout seems perfectly legit, and you find trucks, buses and those awful deadly winnebago things on roads that are completely inadequate for them.  It all creates massive stress as the concentration levels have to remain so high.  The really frustrating thing is they just don't seems to care. No one cares about anything. Nothing matters.  It's completely crazy.

Ok rant over. Thanks for indulging me.

Then we found Lake Iseo.  It's a mountain lake up in the alps about a days ride from Venice.  And what a slice of heaven!  This is the Italy I came to see.  We fluked a hotel above the lake and... well the photos say it all.

So we chilled for the night and just soaked up the tranquility.  And it was so needed and appreciated.

So a couple of panorama photos from the hotel, and a small video of the ride along the lake.  Magic stuff. Despite the aformentioned difficulties.  Lots more pics and vids, but posting them isn't easy. As we're finding out, when wifi is advertised as available, more often then not it's very slow, flakey, constantly dropping out or no one actually knows the password.

Yeah. Kind of over it all a bit now.

Here, have some tranquility instead.