Thursday 21 July 2916 Cortina to Umhausen

There is rain forecast later today, so in order to try and miss it,  I’m up and bike is packed by 7.45am.

As I walk into breakfast I smell bacon, how did I miss that yesterday?  But with scrambled egg, bread roll and Italian coffee and warm milk served in heavy silver jugs it’s s delightful way to start the day 

The first part of today’s route I have already covered, just as well as I get stuck behind a coach for much of it!

The traffic gets lighter through Passo Falzarego. And it‘s even more enjoyable than yesterday going the other! 

After the sunshine in Cortina, it has soon turned dull and grey, and the scenery is much less photogenic.

After Arraba, the route is new to me, continuing on the SS48. Another pass with numbered corners Passo Pordoi   16 if I remember rightly  twists elegantly at an easy elevation. 

At the fork I head north on the SS242, then take the left fork at Plan De Gralba. 

As you can see there’s plenty of twisties. 

The sky has turned very grey and threatening ahead so at Santa Cristina, I stop and put on my waterproofs.  Better safe than sorry.

Something makes me check the GPS, just as well as I “lost” the turning ahead towards  Castelrotto, which I quickly amend.

At Seis I can’t resist stopping to take photos of these low lying clouds from both sides of the mountain. 

There’s been quite a lot of roadworks over the last couple of days and today is no exception. We are held for a while on the side of the mountain, looking down at the traffic on the Toll motorway A22 below.Soon I joined by 5 more bikes, from Italy, Belgium and Germany. I haven’t seen a other GB stickers yet.

My route joins the Ss13, which winds it’s way along the side of  A22, but without the tolls.

I had been concerned about getting  through Bolzano, but this road skirts right round it 

It’s then onto SS38 for a blast up to Merano, before once again getting  stuck behind a very slow moving lorry.

A few Italian bikes overtake on the white lines, but I’m not happy to do so. 

I turn off onto Ss44bis and there’s a garage I decide to stop at, as I’ve had a nagging feeling in the back of my mind since I passed the last one ( as I’d only done 100 or so miles)   that I should fill up.

It’s closed for lunch and credit card only, but doesn’t like my card. Damn, well I should be OK got between 70 & 100 miles left in the tank.

But when I turn on the bike, it doesn’t start. Ok don’t panic.  Try it again. And again. Shit! 

Ok gonna have to wait 15 mins. I take my jacket and waterproof top off as starting to get warm again now, And my lid and put them on the table by the garage door. I’m just about to roll the bike backwards so I’m not blocking a pump, when a car pulls in there behind me. Typical! I’m not going to push it up hill and out of the way,  so I try ignition again, Bingo!

Bloody thing!

i leave it running, whilst I get kitted up again, leaving waterproof top off, as it is warming up 

This road is a popular one, with bikes whizzing past both ways, but I’m happy going at a more comfortable speed.

The sun is well and truly out now, and as I am climbing higher and higher I stop to take some shots…leaving the engine running.

I stop for a quick coke and a wee here Gastof Schonau. The first place I ve seen in ages.

This is  the view from the balcony.

Oh and one with me in it too.

Riding round the corner and the scenery gets even more stunning, with snow in the mountain tops.

This is a lovely road,  I must remember to mark it on my map!

And a bit further on.  This photo would gave been even more stunning, but I had to stop on a slight incline and as I daren’t stop the engine  I put it in neutral with the side stand down, which started to slip just as I was about to take a great shot. 

OMG!  My heart leapt. I just managed to grab the bike before it went, and without dropping anything which would have been catastrophe. 

So now the road gets more “interesting”  

We are really high and I really don’t like heights. 

Add some tight hairpins into the mix, luckily with nothing coming down and I’m a little uncomfortable, but coping.

Here’s a Google Earth view 

So turns out that by accident I’ve chosen a very well known 2509 ft high pass.  Timmelsjoch Passo Rombo.

I stop at the top. And have to admit my stomach is churning a bit at how high we are 

I think I need a sticker for this one,3 euros, what a rip off!

There is an amazing box like look out balancing on the peak. I don’t think to take a photo, but you can see it on the Web link. 

Here’s a photo from inside.

And the view from the road. For once there us a reasonable safety wall.

Once again the bike won’t start. So I wait,  and eventually it does. I hate to think how long recovery would take to get to me here!

I’m now in Austria, and turns out there’s a toll for this road. I’m not turning round, so pay the 13 euros. Wish I’d known as you get a sticker as part of the tolk,  could have saved myself 3 euros.

The road now descends into a valley. This us how I’d imagined the road when I’d planned my trip last night!

I stop of petrol,  and yes you’ve guessed it bike won’t start. But I know the score now,  so wait 10 minutes, using the time to enjoy a chocolate bar.

I’m feeling quite tired, so maybe I won’t make it to the end of my planned route. I’m thinking about stopping when the sky turns very black 

Luckily there’s a hotel  Hotel Johanna right there on the side of the road. As I stop the heavens open.

Phew! They have a room. I quickly unpack the bike and run inside.

View from my room.

The storm passes after about half an hour, but Im glad I stopped when I did.

Time for that all important beer, 

And Bolognese with a twist, it’s made of deer neat ( tastes no different though!)

Another great days riding.