Day 3 dawned cloudy and cold. The snow level had dipped down to 1800 meters, Nauders luckily sits at 1500. We could see the sugary powder coating of snow on the mountains surrounding the town when the clouds allowed.
After another good breakfast we made our way towards the Austria-Itay border, nothing more than a sign now. The wind was at our backs so we had a little push to up the rest of the Rechen Pass. At the top there is a reservoir; Rechensee, where a got flooded in the making of it. Only the Church tower peeks above the waterline.
The rest of the day was spent going mostly downhill. It started to rain sometime in the morning and hung with us for a couple of hours. But not so bad as the day before. We followed the Via Claudia bike route through the Vinschgau Valley. Miles and miles of Apple Orchards. Very pretty.
We arrived at our destination in Lana, near Meran, at 6:30 PM and found another good small hotel. There was agreat restaurant in the town too, can’t remember the name but we had an awesome meal. The days numbers; 98 km and 350 vertical meters.
We awoke on day 2 to grey sky’s and rain. We knew it was coming from the forecast the day before, now it was a reality. Not wanting to get out in it too fast, we took our time getting ready and having breakfast. You can only sit so long and drink coffee, at least I can, so we donned our rain gear and headed out into the rain. Todays route would be mostly bike paths through river valleys; fairly flat and mostly paved. Which was ok since the weather was so crappy.
We quickly figured out the best way was to enjoy the scenery and pedal. Even though that the mountains were covered in clouds, it was still pretty. We were basically the only people out on bikes that day. I took a wrong turn and found some single track, yeah! Too bad it was so wet and slippery. Was still fun anyways!
We made 2 breaks that day; one for a cappuccino and sweet roll and another for a bowl of hot soup and a coke. Our last task for the day was to climb up the Rechen Pass, a 500 meter climb or so, not too bad. I missed a turn somewhere and we ended up on the pass road where all the cars and trucks drive up. It was a nightmare! Especially the tunnels. Susanne kind of freaked out at one point and I had to “coax” her gently into continuing. We finely made it to Nauders, wet and cold but happy to have made so far, Susanne did great and didn’t complain the whole day. We found a nice B&B by the name of “Via Claudia”. In all 80 km and 1000 vert. meters. in 7:10 riding time.
In September Susanne and I rode our bikes from Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany to Nago-Torbole, Italy on the north shore of Lake Garda. I wanted Susanne to have a good time and not get frustrated so I chose the Via Claudia route. If she had fun on this trip then we could always do a harder one later in the future.
We left after a good breakfast from our Hotel in Garmisch. riding out-of-town and into the countryside was nice and mellow warm up.
The Weather was ok, a little cloudy and humid but at least no rain. Thundershowers were forecasted for the late afternoon, by then I hoped we’d be close to our first days destination.
Leaving the paved bike path we started climbing up a fairly steep gravel road. The views of the surrounding mountains were spectacular!
The first climb of the trip was a about 500 vertical meters, mostly on gravel roads with a bit of rooty rocky sections, not really single track more like a multi-track. We even had a short hike a bike. We passed by a hut where a few people were sitting on the deck enjoying the sunshine and drinking coffee. I wanted to keep going to avoid the rain that was coming.. We still had to climb another pass of about the same length and height as the first.
The downhill into Ehrwald, Austria was fun and we were able to cover some ground fast. The route took us through a beautiful Larch forest, I took a few pictures but they just don’t do it any justice. It was like in a fairy tale.
Once we got up to the top of Fern Pass it started to sprinkle. The downhill into Nasereith was more fun than the first and a lot more technical, Susanne had to get off a few times and push. We came to this cool wooden bridge that took around the side of a rock cliff.
We decided to call it a day in the town of Nasereith, Austria. It took a few minutes of riding around but we finely found a nice small hotel to spend the night.