The ferry from Corsica to Italy was an absolute hoot. It must have been flying French flags. We got in line for the ferry as we arrived at the port. No separation for the bikes, car in front of you and a car in back. After waiting in 100° temperatures for a late loading time we started to load, on the third deck. On the first ramp the car in front of me stopped half way up, on the slippery metal ramp. I puckered so hard I almost sucked the seat straight off the bike. On the second ramp I waited. The car in front made it up before I would start, while the car behind me was on his horn and close enough to push me up the ramp. Wanker! Then, to top it off, the men loading thought it best to yell at us for not jumping off the bike at the top and just leaving it, all in French. I just calmly ignored him, until he grabbed my handlebars and started pushing me backwards to where he thought I should be. End of rant. We arrived in Italy, got off the boat onto friendly soil and headed to a campground and a 1liter bottle of wine. Chill time.
The next day we wandered in a general north direction on small back roads, enjoying Tuscany and all the small vineyards. The direction we were headed took us east of Lake Guarda, and all the people enjoying the lake on holiday. The lockdown had been difficult on everyone, so the popular areas were swarming with European holidaymakers. We found so much beauty in some more remote locations, while always looking for the cooler weather at elevation.
On the first day we were so slow, we didn’t want to rush. That found us in wine country looking for a place to stay. We found an inexpensive B&B that seems to fit the bill. The Selvatica50 B&B. This was outside of the small village of Campazzo. It was decorated with artwork of the host and had a true travelers vibe to it. The hosts were on their honeymoon, but they had wonderful friends running the place for them. Their names were Soheil and Bahareh, from Iran. We hit it off immediately, and sat and talked. Then they invited us to share their dinner. We talked about the obvious things, us being from the US, and came to know each other and each others live at a deeper level. We were the first people from the US they had ever met. We finished the night friends and hoping that someday countries and religions will be better understood by people. We are all still the same inside. It was a top night for me.
On the third day we saw them. In the distance we could make out the jagged, towering bare rock peaks of the Dolamites, piercing the clear blue skies to our north. There are 18 peaks rising over 10,000 feet and the tallest at almost 11,000 feet with a precipice on the southern side of 2000 feet. So very impressive.
Riding through the middle of them over Passo Duran, at 1601 meters, was just amazing. Jagged peaks surrounding us. We stopped for a espresso and a bowl of soup at the top, at Rifugio San Sebastian. As we were sitting at the outside seating tables, we heard what sounded like a herd of Alaskan mosquitos, the sound oscillating as it grew closer. Then,there was one, then three, then maybe a hundred. If was a scooter tour of 50cc scooters, some two up. It was the funniest thing I had seen. They all lined up on the side of the road out front, chatted briefly, and like a swarm of buzzing insects, off they went.
The area had many camping locations to choose from, but we were on a route through a national park splitting the peaks so they were surrounding you. The riding was equally impressive with fantastic tarmac and views. Later in the day we found a camping spot at a ski resort near the Austrian border, Albergo Pace Alpina. It was a terraced are overlooking the village with a restaurant and a pub. Melanie went in to check on it and they told us we could stay for free. Fantastic! The views were great and the facilities spotless. The food was excellent and cooked on an outside grill and the beer, cold. What another great day! I slept well as the nighttime temperatures dipped into the low 50’s.
Tomorrow we will enter Austria. Our destination is MotoCamp Bulgaria with a three day stop at MotoCamp Sibiu, in Romania, tucked between the Transalpina and the Transfāgārāşan. We will be riding through Slovenia and Hungary on the way.
For now, Cheers, and stay hungry, for life and adventure.