Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Austria - Day 12

Thursday 20 July 2017 - Sankt Poltener Hut to Matreier Tauern Haus (1512 metres)

8.5 km
200 metres ascent
3.5 hours
16000 steps

Marie served us the usual breakfast for a hut that doesn't have a goods lift - bread, sliced meat, cheese, jam, etc plus as much tea and coffee as you like, and even some specially made hot chocolate for Cary.

Then a delay until 8 o'clock when they could check that Markus had actually paid a deposit when he booked on our behalf.

A sunny walk from the start. We climbed to a small summit, Weinbicht (2545 metres), then gradually descended after a contouring section featuring the final snow patch of the trip.

Saxifrage and mouse-ear were growing amongst the rocks. There were lots of large, curious sheep, and fine views across the valley to Gross Venediger.

The path passed three picturesque lakes, Grauer See, Schwarzer See and Gruner See, with tumbling cascades in between them and reflected mountains within them.

We loitered for some time on a bench beside the lower lake, enjoying the mountain scenery from a little below 2000 metres for the first time for many days.

Several groups were ascending. Perhaps Sankt Poltener Hut would do some lunchtime business.

The path wove its way down the valley, with a little bogginess as we passed through cow pastures. Then it threaded in and out of pines, emerging at a car park from where a short stroll brought us to the hamlet of Tauer, where sadly our twelve day trek drew to a conclusion.

We arrived before midday, so had plenty of time to enjoy a lavish lunch before catching the 13.10 bus to Matrei.

The Matreier Taurnhaus came up trumps. Sue and I enjoyed a superb salad of goats cheese, red onion, lettuce, cauliflower, carrot and button mushrooms with a large crouton,  whilst chickens wandered beneath the tables.

The bus delivered us to the door of Hotel Hinteregger, where a cup of tea was enjoyed before a little bit of washing to make us acceptable for the journey home.

Outside, a violent thunderstorm obscured the mountains. We have been very lucky!

A lazy afternoon was followed by a sociable evening with the Collett's staff and clients who are based here, in particular it as good to catch up properly with Graham and Mary, who we hope to see here next year. It's a great location.

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