Sunday July 10, 2005, 80 km (50 miles) – Total so far: 5,904 km (3,669 miles)
We overslept; maybe the alarm didn’t go off, or perhaps we just didn’t hear it? We had a very hilly ride today in some terrible weather. Our route to Livigno included three quite tough passes: Maloja Pass (1,815m), Passo del Bernina (2,330m) and the Forcola di Livigno (2,315m). They all were fairly difficult especially the Forcola, last climb of the day with a 12% gradient and a strong headwind.
St Moritz was a bit disappointing, we stopped there for lunch, and apart from a vintage car rally which was in town for the day, we didn’t think much of the place. The town has been given two stars by our German map-maker which usually signifies a place of great beauty or special interest; perhaps we just didn’t find the centre?
We met a fellow British cycle tourist at the summit of the Forcola, a nice guy from Portsmouth, England. Ali is a self-employed boat builder and has been touring Italy for the last seven weeks, we’re meeting up later this evening for a drink.
Livigno is a great place, I’ve been skiing here twice before so it’s interesting to see it in the summer. It’s also a bit of an anomaly, being a tax-free area within Italy. This status has been in existence since 1600, rumour has it that tax collectors sent up here from Italy mysteriously disappeared so eventually they stopped sending them.