Day 15 St. Leonhard in Passeier, Italy to Matrei am Brenner, Austria

Tuesday  Dateicon  13.8.2018  Tigericon  315km Totalt:3614km Handlebaricon  5h30m Totalt:52h55m Feeticon  - km Totalt: 64.91km  Weathericon

I've decided to throw in the towel when it comes to riding in the alps for now.
I've done my best to escape the weather but after dedicating an almost fetishistic intrest to forecasts the last few days I can determine that there is nowhere at this latitude I can go.
The rest of the week looks absolutely horrible and I really feel like I don't mind living the rest of my life without another ride like what I did on the Silveretta.

Jaufen pass was just transport but it was a nice enough ride through dark woods.
The first pass I'd planned was Penser Joch and the only thing darkening the view there where the clouds that's been on my trail the last few days but the weather was pretty good considering the altitude.

I ride on to a loop of four passes of which Sella pass is the first.
Spectacularly beautiful with long sweeping bends this was a starch contrast to yesterdays riding and the best riding of this entire trip.

Pordoi pass was more of a technical ride with a parade of hairpins.
After that the entertainment value got somewhat lower at Campolongo pass and you do get spoiled rather quick down here but Gardena pass was more of a transport although very scenic.

Then again I might be a bit unfair about Gardena as my was back north is over the Brenner pass.
That really had nothing in the way of entertainment value at all and it didn't get any better as about halfway it started to rain heavily and the temperature drops like a stone.
As if that's not bad enough the wind picks up to the point where I can feel the crosswinds almost lifting the bike.

Some mistakes I'm bound to repeat and so I hadn't really done any major research as to the location of the hotel Maria Waldrast other than the fact that it was in the right general direction and pretty cheap.
So it came as a bit of a surprise when I ride further and further away from the civilization in Mühlbachl into a nature reserve and to a gate blocking entry and a small hut beside it which is currently unmanned.
As I understood it there's normally a fee to be paid to ride into the reserve but guests at the hotel where exempt from this so I park the bike in a pretty steep incline and make my way through.
Now the weather has turned to outright hostility and during 10kms to the hotel which under better conditions would have been a blissful ride the rain manages to go into overdrive.
As I park by the hotel the rain is positively hammering down and temperature is now as low as +10°C.
When I left Italy this morning the temperature was +8°, the highest I had during the day was +27° and now this. You really get all ends of the spectrum down here.

The hotel which was a former convent was spectacular and after cooking myself like a prawn in the bathtub I could even approach my fellow man again without exuding hate and destruction.
Considering that the location of the hotel was straight out of a B-list horror movie the pricing in the restaurant was more than fair.
I got the most expensive thing on the entire menu which was steak and potatoes which cost €14 and a beer on tap was €3.5.
The fact that I've left Switzerland is pretty obvious.
Cheap beer was a nice enough excuse to stay in the restaurant to do some routing for the next few days.


Penser Joch, 2211m

With my head in the clouds at Sella pass, 2218m

Pordoi pass, 2239m

Gardena pass, 2136m