Friday, 27 August 2010
Transalp '10 - Day 2 - 27 August 2010 - St. Antönien to Zernez
Distance: 60-65 km
Ascent: 1900 metres
Descent: 1900 metres
Time: 8.5 hours
Q: "Markus, could I have a sentence from you for today's blog, please?"
A: "S**t weather; I'm a fair weather biker; roll on Italy - sunshine and dolce vita."
We started with an excellent 600 metre descent to Küblis, where the Co-op provided sustenance for the day.
Then a gradual ascent to Klosters on good bike tracks, under increasingly heavy skies. Coffee and cake in a nice café, watching cars in the road outside turning on their wipers.
Up more undulating cycle tracks, with waterproofs on and off, then definitely On. Somehow I got ahead, then missed a turn in the downpour. Usually Markus stops at such junctions even though I carry the map. Serves me right for going ahead. So I found myself on the main road to Davos on a wet day. Uphill. I been in nicer places. I could liken this to the main road from Macc to Buxton in the rain.
We rendezvoused at a station then found a restaurant. It was p***ing down outside. We stayed for nearly an hour. Option 3 was discussed, and then actioned. This involved the 900 metre ascent by road of Flüelapass (2383 m).
It took two hours. The rain eased, and briefly continued whilst the sun shone from the west. The traffic was a bit of a nuisance but we made it to the top, as confirmed by today's image.
The 900 metre descent to Susch, unrelentingly downhill for over 10km, was routine for Markus. Sue and I had envied cyclists on such descents on our recent trip to Italy. I can confirm that it's as much fun as it looks. One of the most enjoyable 10-15 minutes I've had on a bike. I tried to explain this to Markus, adding
"You just can't do this in the UK".
"The other options were much better" he retorted.
The undulating cycle track from Susch to Zernez was a bit muddy after the rain. Markus doesn't really like mud. It was a bit like the Bridgewater Canal towpath after a light shower. We have to return along it tomorrow.
"I suggest we use the road" hazarded The Boss."
Anyway, we got to Hotel Bär at 5pm, a very respectable hour, so enjoyed a beer before checking in. Having dried out nicely we were both much perkier than yesterday, when the heat seemed to take its toll more than today's rain.
The hotel is excellent. We have the penthouse. The restaurant serves good food. The beer flows nicely. And there's a helpful and friendly manager.
Finally, in response to comments:
Sue - neither of us went to sleep for some time...
Paul - have a great time around Arolla, it's a lovely area.
Alan - vaseline is a wonderful substance...
Alan Sloman - Markus went searching for you tonight, he thought it was the sort of place where you would jump from the shadows, in traditional dress! (Hope all is well BTW, and "hello" from both of us.)
Next Posting - Day 3
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