Tuesday, August 30, 2016 | Italy – South Tyrol, Sesto | Petra
A GENTLE START
WE’RE HEADING SOUTH
For about a week Win and Petra, the dream team, are back on the road again determined to get another taste of the big wide world. We’re traveling south to Italy. Lake Caldaro, Lana, Merano and Sesto in South Tyrol are our first stops. We need a kind of ”local“ recreation first before getting into our extended journey.
At Lake Caldaro we meet Christoph from Germany. He tells us over a cup of coffee that he is on a world tour for twelve years by hitchhiking and walking. He has experienced a lot on his way and he also learned some languages, i. e. Chinese.
”It’ll take you three months more or less to feel this special mood of long-term traveling“, the globetrotter knows. Christoph himself is on his way back home. In a few days he will restart his „normal“ way of life with a new job at a company in Switzerland. ”Maybe I’ll settle down, maybe having a family. I’ll see…“.
Christoph, we wish you the very best for your big step, a good job and a good life.
On the first days of our warm-up we love to go for easy hiking tours, do sightseeing at Merano by bike and enjoy regional specialties like speck (bacon), Schuettelbrot (bread) and smooth wine. In doing so we try to get clear about the fact that we are not on holiday, this is going to be our real life for a longer time.
Probably Christoph is right and it’ll take us quite a time to get used to it. For now it feels unreal although the world makes it easy for us.
Piazza Duomo in the old town of Merano
We are warmly welcome by the Dolomites of Sesto with bright sunshine and a stunning panoramic view. With our hiking boots well fixed we enjoy the fascinating world of the mountains. For our first hiking we choose the trail to the picturesque alpine farms Klammbachalm | Malga Klammbach(1944 m) and Nemesalm | Alpe di Nemes (1950 m). Otti, the friendly alpine farmer, treats us with delicious polenta, Tyrolean dumplings and on top with a recommendation for a thrilling hiking tour for the next day. ”It’s the best tour because you get the panoramic view of the Dolomites and even the Grossglockner, the highest mountain of the Alpes. You should catch the cable car to Mount Helm | Monte Elmo early in the morning when sky is still clear.“
No sooner said than done. Early in the morning we get up with the sun, take the bus to Sesto and the cable car to Mount Helm | Monte Elmo. From the top station we start our four hour hike via Karnischen Höhenweg | Alta Via Carnica. At first it is quite cold but even half an hour later we can feel warm rays of sun. And it doesn’t take long until we are given the fantastic view of the Dolomites.
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Our trail leads towards the summit of Mount Helm | Monte Elmo (2433 m) where we enjoy the breath-taking view. There are countless summits in front of us and yes, there it is: Grossvenediger and even Grossglockner. We take our time to enjoy this spectacle of nature engaging all our senses.
While I’m having a philosophic chat with a hiker from Sillian Win is listening to two locals chatting underneath the summit cross. They’re praising the beauty of their home and calling it thankfully a god’s gift. Two young men meeting the first time in there lifes and talking about the bliss of home in such a emotional way, that’s a very special moment for Win.
All the romantic touch doesn’t stop us from setting off. We pass Hahnspielhütte | Rifugio Gallo Cedrone (2150 m) and Sillianer Hütte | Rifugio Sillianer (2447 m), often stand still, look around and are impressed by the beauty of the mountains. The hiking tour along the Karnischen Höhenweg | Alta Via Carnica is wonderful. We break sweat, breathe deeply and are happy. We reach the summit of Hornischegg (2550 m) descend via the hills of Nemesalm | Alpe di Nemes (1950 m) down to the popular alpine cottage of Otti and Klara. After having an amazing Apfelstrudel and a refreshing nap we walk down to the valley.
Otti didn’t promise too much. This tour is great and a pure pleasure even though it ends in disaster.
The last meters I get a little bit too high-spirited. An unobtrusive path attracts my eyes promising a comfortable short cut home. Win follows me trusting until he hears me yelling out. All of a sudden I get stuck in mud. I stick on it up to my knee and can’t remove from it (similar I’ve seen once in a horror movie). Win Superman isn’t hesitating a second. He grabs me under my arms and pulls me back, out of the heavy brown mud. How many smart hikers might have been in there before, I ask myself.
Laughing and with a heavy leg full of mud we walk back to the official trail. The result of my easy short cut is a muddy fright, half an hour of washing my boots and two days getting it dry again. „Never leave the path!“ I remember the fairytale of Little Red Riding-hood.
What is the moral? If something looks like mud then as a rule it is mud. Better not walk in.
The next day our camp site neighbor Gabi, a loveley woman from Switzerland, tells us that she read our blog and that she had the same situation with the sticky mud a few days ago. Peter, her nice husband, guesses it as a women’s thing. Isn’t this a perfect reason to make friends? We have a good laugh together and some glasses of tasty wine. When coming to Switzerland on our tour we’ll visit them for sure. Thank you, Gabi and Peter.