Epic ride through Dolomites and Alps - part 3

By John Harden, 23/12/2013 14:34:13
I hadn't been sleeping all that well so far on the trip and routinely woke up at 4 AM every morning. Last night I slept like the dead for 11 hours straight and woke up at 8.
Long day

I hadn't been sleeping all that well so far on the trip and routinely woke up at 4 AM every morning. Last night I slept like the dead for 11 hours straight and woke up at 8. 

Had a great b-fast at the hotel then did some quick shopping in town as everything would be closed the next day (Sunday). Got a few things, then hit the road at 9:30 headed to Arrabba. 

Most of these mountain villages sit in valleys, surrounded by high mountains. There are numerous roads out of town, each with its own views. Here's a few shots of Corvara from another angle as I headed up the pass.

This is a road side pullout/view point on the same road.

Passo Pordo was at the top of the hill. They post the elevation at the top and of course you have to buy the obligatory stickers that commemorate your trip through the pass.

Very typical "outpost" at Passo Pordo. You'll usually find a gift shop/restaurant, etc. I understand these places get extremely crowded with motorcycles during the summer months. Not so much now, which is exactly how I like it.

Down the other side where I stopped at a beautiful, dammed in mountain lake for photos. Quite a few other motorcyclists here. 

BMW's and Ducati's were the most common bikes on the road, followed by Harleys. I was surprised at the number of Harleys I passed.

This was taken at that same stop. Not a lot of room for them to build the road next to the lake and snow and avalanches must be dealt with. So, their solution is to protect the road underneath a avalanche proof concrete roof. Snow, ice and rocks that slide down the mountainside, just keep right on going into the lake. Ingenious solution.

Same stop

Here's a few more pics from this same stop. The lake is called Lago de Fedaia. 

The mountain lake was beautiful. Off on the left you can just see the other side of the covered road from the previous pic above. This is not a small lake!!!

Another shot of the bikes. The Honda Goldwing trike was getting a lot of attention. The riders were Americans and we chatted a bit. Most bikers were "locals" from within a few hundred miles, though not all.

Very nice beemer in this shot.

Here's a shot of the locals grazing on the grass before it dies for the winter.

Continuing on

It had already been a long morning and I was getting hungry, so it was time to press on. I continued down the pass to a cute little village called Sottoguda.

I think I was the only tourist in the entire town, which was very nice.

At the entrance to the town was a very cool shop selling hand crafted metal work. That owl is probably 4 feet tall. Very cool.

A very nice local offered to take my pic in front of the gift shop across the street.

Enough sightseeing, it was time to eat. I looked and looked but there was not a Starbucks, McDonalds or Burger King to be found, which was WONDERFUL!!!!

This place looked inviting. I was the only patron and had an excellent salad, bread and goulash. They laughed as I took a photo of my food. I get the feeling they see this behavior from time to time....

Time to push on.......


SR 203 and 204 headed South towards Belluna looked inviting, so I headed that way, then turned North on the A51 towards Cortina. It was overcast with a few sprinkles. My log book says the temp on this section averaged about 14C. Not too bad.

I'm pretty sure that's Cortina down there. It's the largest city in the area. Not big by SoCal standards, but pretty big for Northern Italy. Too crowded for me, which is why I chose Corvara as my base for the Dolomites.

This is one of my favorite photos from the trip. Little pull out on the side of the road. I found this great spot to sit for awhile, update my log book and just enjoy the view. I don't think a single vehicle passed by the entire time I was there. Very nice.

It was however cold, given the altitude. Looks like I'm already up to over 900 kilometers for the trip. Still, lots of riding to do!!!!

Gondolas were running. Not sure why as I doubt the ski places were open yet. Must have just been ferrying people to and fro.

Very long day

This has been a long day and its time to head back to Corvara. I wound up driving further and further South East, down and out of the mountains to where the roads were flat, curvy and fun. Without much other traffic, I was able to spin it up and really tear through he curves. It was sort of Zen like and I kept on riding and riding. 

At one point I stopped and looked at my map and realized I had gone so far East/South-East that I was only about 50 kilometers from Venice!!! 

Still, it was time to head back. This is my last day in Italy. Tomorrow, it is off to Switzerland to see the Alps!!!!

Before I leave, let's see some more scenery from the beautiful Dolomite mountains in Northern Italy!!!! These were taken the last part of this day on the 21st.

I don't know how common it is to see teepee's in Northern Italy, but these folks had some nice ones. The view they have is even better!!!!!

I bet the guy with the parachute has an even better view!!!!

Back in Corvara. Shops are closed, so I'll do some quick shopping in the morning before I head out.
Last pic of the town and view before I leave.

It's been a great place to stay and see the sights!!!

It is hard to express how wonderful Northern Italy has been!! The people have been wonderful. Hotel Posta Zirm was beautiful and served incredibly good food!! The hotel service was spot on. 

Corvara is a very small town, which was to my liking. I don't think I could have picked a better, central starting point for my excursions.

If you are ever in the Dolomites, make sure you pay a visit to Corvara in Badia!!!!





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