Saturday, 15 July 2017
Austria - Day 6
800 metres ascent
After a good night at Hotel Hinteregger we could afford a lie in as our bus up the Virgental valley didn't leave until 9.43. It was good to encounter Mike and Sue (last seen in the Picos de Europa), and Graham and Mary, who brought our camping chairs back from the Dolomites a few years ago.
We abandoned unwanted items like down jackets, a broken camera and some tinned fish with Caroline, and set off on the second phase of our trip on the Postbus to Stroden.
The weather wasn't as sunny as usual, with intermittent attempts at drizzle in between the sunny periods.
After setting off around 10.30 we soon reached Stoanalm, where coffee and hot chocolate went down well and Sue and I shared an excellent apfelstrudel, our first of the trip.
The rest of the morning involved a steady scenic plod on a good forest track, emerging from the trees below the small Ochsner Hut, outside which we enjoyed our Collett's packed lunches.
The floral accompaniment had been excellent all morning, but was nothing short of outstanding for the remaining 300 metres of ascent to our destination, reached at 2 pm.
Orchids and bellflowers were particularly abundant.
On arrival at Essener Rostocker Hut we were shown to our room for four, plonked our gear there and set off on an excursion:
Essener Rostocker Hut to Simony See (2350 metres) and back
150 metres ascent
This was a pleasant romp in light rain to an icy tarn. Lots more flowers, including alpenrose, and wheatears and redstarts. Back at 4 pm for a litre of teewasser and a welcome cuppa.
It's now 5 pm but I can predict beer o'clock (shortly), a four course half board dinner, a game of cards for some of us, flower identification, reading (Ruth Ware's 'The Lying Game' for me), and an early night.
No sign of a phone signal so there may be some delay, as is usual on this sort of trip.
The photos should be self explanatory. As usual, click on them for larger versions.