Tuesday July 12, 2005, 60 km (37 miles) – Total so far: 6,016 km (3,738 miles)
The Stélvio – what a monster! Easily the toughest climb we’ve done and the second highest at 2757m. We began climbing in fair weather, but only just made it to the summit before the heavens opened. We enjoyed some tasty soup and bread in one of the hotels at the top whilst a violent hail storm raged outside. Stélvio also has to be the busiest summit we’ve seen as it’s a year-round ski resort, it’s possible to ski on the glaciers here right through the summer.
I forgot to mention the hairpins, how can I write about Stélvio and not mention the hairpins? Flippin’ hundreds of them.
We’ve found a really nice campsite in Prato or, as the locals call it, Prad am Silfserjoch, because everyone in this part of Italy speaks German. Before the Great War this bit of Italy was part of Austria, and it’s still called Südtirol. The first campsite we tried in Prato was full, that’s the first time this has happened, high season is upon us.