We are off to another Via Ferrata today on Tres Cime De Lavaredo. We did not need to be super energetic this morning because we aren’t catching a cable car. A leisurely breakfast of spicy beans n eggs by Scott set us up nicely. The nice drive thru Cortina and up into the mountains was going great, but when we arrived at the road to the pass, it was shut!
Turns out this particular pass is super popular. Mainly because all the ascent is done in the car and the walk into the national park is almost flat, with several Refugios (where they sell beer) This makes it so popular in fact, that they fill the car park and then close the road to traffic.
So… now what?
We mooch back to the lake we passed and park up. We were all a little tired this morning, so we will just make this another rest day. A short walk around the lake…..
oOOOOoooooOOOOHHHhhhh a cable car is open, let’s go up there!
It was one of those open chair type cable chair car cable lift thingys. I like them because firstly you are outside, not hemmed into a little box. My mild claustrophobia deals better with being outside. And secondly, because they are a modern machine, the public uses where you can hurt yourself very easily by just lifting the lap bar and stepping off into space. I’m surprised this is still allowed, but grateful it is. Its a reminder that humans can be trusted not to do something stupid. And then if they do, its just natural selection being allowed to run its course.
At the top there was the obligatory Refugio where we topped up with beer / espresso / strudel. It was also close to a GoeCache so I wandered off to collect that. It had a trackable coin in there which I picked up. I’ll move it onto the next GeoCache I stop at. These coins travel the globe from one hiding place to another, only ever seen by a very few people who are in on the secret. It’s literally a global, secret game of treasure hunt.
After a walk around the lake, a chairlift ride, drinks and cake and cache hunting, it turned out there was not much time left on the parking meter… and we had only bought a one way ticket on the chair lift. Damn…
As the driver, I’d have to move the car, which meant power walking / fell running down the hill. The long, steep, wooded and rocky hill all the way down. The Geocache had some info in its log saying it takes 1 hour to walk to (up hill following the chairlift) So I figured I could probably, maybe make it along the hillside parallel to the lake and down to the car. In 25 mins.
We set off down the ski run at a pace, following open maps tracks. I was going as fast as I could. We had no idea how hot parking wardens are in Italy, but this is a very touristy area, so we didn’t want to risk it. On the flat I was nearly running, using my poles to propel me along. When I reached a turning, I sent the group a picture of which way to go (full cell signal)
After a while I passed the ruin of a house and it started to get steep. Going down hill is not my fortè. But I could sort of squat-run down the hill with the help of the poles allowing my descent. Once I got to the bottom, I fully ran around the edge of the lake back to the car. I got there only 13 mins late and no parking wardens in sight. I was puffing hard. I don’t think I would have been fit enough to do that a couple months ago.
I have started the Couch to 5km program to get me running. I figured that if I took it slow and built up over time, my knee might get stronger. This would be got for general health, but also the stability and strength of my damaged knee. Running a little every other day, I’ve slowly increased the time and distance. It’s hard to self motivate and the last couple weeks I’ve not managed it, but I’ll get back on it once I’m back from this holiday. Anyway… I could feel the altitude sapping me towards the end. I was breathing way harder than I’d expect at that speed.
The gang wombled down 20ish mins later and we went to get a restaurant lunch. The views here are impossible to be disappointed with. It’s the most beautiful place. The restaurant looks out over the lake, across to an old hotel. It has green wooden shutters and washed out yellow walls and stands out boldly on the horizon of the hill. The snow capped mountains in the background and the dark green trees frame the scene so nicely. It’s a great scene to enjoy eating across from.