I’m into the final phase of preparation for this year’s “big adventure”. It’s certainly begun to take my mind off how bored I was when I blogged my last piece here.
If you have a browse through some of the stuff on my other blog, “A Blog on a Landscape”, you’ll find out about some of the things I used to do quite often, by way of recreation. The Dolomites of northern Italy featured large in those activities for a good many years. Two years ago, I returned there, after a bit of a break when much of my spare time and all of my energy was given over to running. It was fun seeing the place almost afresh, and doing much of the legwork for my other web project, The Great Dolomite Road. I didn’t visit in 2012, but had a very satisfying time in Chamonix (see the best photos from that trip here) and in most ways it was a bit of a no-brainer for me to decide to go back to the Dolomites this year.
As I’ve done many times before, I’ll be travelling by motorbike. When you see the bike, you’ll realize that’s neither as epic nor adventurous as it might sound, really. However, there’s always the issue for me about which way to travel out and back. I’ve done the quick ways, including coming 800 miles home with just black coffee and one short stop for a few hours of sleep, and my preference now is to take three or four days for the trip.
This time, I plan to tackle an ambition to ride some significant miles through Germany’s Black Forest, before putting my feet up for a day in a small place in Austria I really like. My wife is flying out to join me in the Dolomites for part of the time, and it looks like we might have fallen lucky with renting a decent apartment in the Val di Fassa, in the western part of the area. Then, when she returns home, I plan to head further east, towards Cortina d’Ampezzo, and spend a bit of time in some of my frequent haunts from ten and twenty years ago.
Solo travel with a big, well-loaded motorbike rather limits the opportunities to get up high in the mountains, so I am glad I have plenty of in-filling of web site content to do for the Great Dolomite Road project. I will be grabbing as many chances as possible to seek out the summits, though. One good thing about September is that sunset is at a very amenable time, and the weather out there in the early autumn can be really good. Here’s hoping, anyhow.
Then there’s the return journey, which I’ve planned to turn into a sort of additional holiday. I’ve ridden across the high road passes of Switzerland a few times, and hardly ever had time or good weather to do them sufficient justice. The plan (such as it is) is to change that, and to end up for a week or so in Chamonix, before a quick blat up the French motorways and home some time in October.
Before I go, there’s the small matter of the Southern Masters League Final the day before I set out, when I’m likely to be racing a 100m, 200m and a relay leg. I did something silly to my left hamstring recently, almost falling over coming out of the starting blocks in a local race. It’s responded well to ice, rest and kinesio tape, but I’m making no predictions.
I hope to blog the Big Trip, though I’m not sure I’ll have internet access all of the time.