Today’s walk took me further into the Dolomites which required a bit of climbing and a lot of detouring on and off Hwy 12 and the bike path.
I got started around 7:45 again today with plans of getting the day behind me before thunderstorms hit later in the afternoon. Yesterday that plan worked out well as I got to Klausen about two hours before the bottom dropped out. Today the skies started looking threatening about 30 minutes before I got to the hotel but I made it without getting wet again.
I spent the day trying to figure out the route. The excellent bike path I’ve been following for the last few days is depicted on google maps, but it’s not labeled as a route, and when I put in my departure and arrival locations to get my route, it never shows the bike path as the way I should go. I’ve been lucky in that the bike route stays relatively close to Hwy 12 which is what google maps is telling me to take. So today I was on the bike path early but I got to the large town of Brixon and the bike path was closed for construction. So I worked my way over a few blocks to Hwy 12 and followed it for a ways, intending to get back on the bike path as soon as possible. Unfortunately, I could not tell on the map where the bike path was located. I kept walking on the highway, which had heavy traffic, hoping I’d see the bike path come back close to the highway so I could jump back on it. After walking on Hwy 12 for about 4-5 miles, the bike path reappeared, but it was on the opposite side of the road from where I had gotten off it. It must have crossed the road and I just didn’t see it happen, but I got back on the path and out of traffic pronto.
Today I did some climbing, most of it in the last half of the day. It wasn’t too bad, but I would prefer it not come when I’m already tired from walking.
Also, today I finally got confirmation on what is growing in all these orchards along my route. If you recall a few days ago the vineyards went away and now there are miles and miles of orchards. As I was walking along this morning, I happen upon a couple standing on a tall stand culling out the damaged fruit growing in this orchard. They were no more than 10 feet from me as I passed so I ask them what was growing on the trees. They said it was red apples. The apples will be ready to pick in late September or early October. These trees looked nothing like any apple trees I’ve ever seen; ie they have very skinny trunks and grow fruit from the ground all the way to the top. They’re also attached to metal stands that support them standing up, kind of like grape vines. And the entire grove is covered with black netting. Anyway, at least I know what’s growing in the orchards.
Tomorrow is my last full day in Italy. Thursday I’ll cross the border into Austria. I don’t think I’ll notice any differences; like I said a few days ago; these people up here in the most northern part of Italy think they’re Austrians anyway. So until tomorrow; Auf Wiedersehen!