Saturday, June 11, 2011

Water & Walking

I always thought paragliding was a summer sport, alas this training trip has largely proved me wrong because a low cloud base interspersed with rain has rendered flying impossible again today. Still it could be like this in July (heaven forbid) so it’s all good practice. Talking of water, Jon forgot to mention on the last post of an amusing moment in the small medieval town of Glurns yesterday. As we drove through the quaint walled town I noticed a water fountain in the central square. As Hannibal was almost out of water (that’s drinking and cooking water not engine coolant) I parked in the square next to a large tree, the benches beneath which were the afternoon haunt of the elderly men of the village. Jon went to start filling up a water container whilst I undid the water filler cap and made ready with the large funnel that the hire company have provided for such purpose. Hannibal has only the one obvious filler cap and that is the water, the diesel filler is hidden away under a flap by the driver’s door. After filling Hannibal with three lots of water, one of the elderly gentleman wandered across “Wasser?” he enquired, “Ja, wasser” I replied “Es ist sehr billig” which unless my old german teacher is turning in his grave means it’s very cheap. The old man shook his head and wandered back to his friends where much muttering took place. So if you are running a garage in Glurns and many of your clients have suddenly got water in their fuel tanks it might just be our fault.

As for today, after an earlyish start we drove down through St Moritz and down the valley to Chiavenna.  Just outside of Coloredo I left Jon to climb across the Passo di Forcola into the Mesocina Valley. The walk up from the valley floor was significant with about 2000m ascent to negotiate, still Jon made the top in a little over 3hours and was soon down the other side.  Not contented with walking over a mountain range he then set off for another couple of hours walking down the valley!

My journey to achieve the same end required driving up the Splugen pass which is not for the feint hearted in a slightly underpowered campervan after which the St Bernardino pass back south was a doddle.

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