Thursday, September 18, 2008

Hello Mountains!!

Day 359
Laives to Merano
Time: 2:40:00
Distance: 43.1
Avg Speed: 16.1
Terrain: Bicycle Path
Location: N 46 39' 48.0", E 11 09' 30.3"

Somewhere between Trento and Laives we left Italy and entered Austria. The only language we have really heard from vendors and hosts has been Italian, but once we arrived in Laives it has been German the whole time. Those of you who don’t have a map in front of you, I will let you know that Laives is well in Italy. It is in the South Tyrol area where both Italian and German are spoken. The Tyrol area is the homeland of the famous climber Rheinhold Messner. The first person to summit Everest without the use of supplemental oxygen (a little dose of climbing trivia for you).
We jumped started our morning by supplementing our muesli with a couple of slices of apple strudel. The mini market in the campground had fresh baked goods and I couldn’t resist the temptation. We got back on the bike path and headed off towards Merano. We needed to head west at some point during the ride today and weren’t sure if the bike path would go with us. At our turning point we were pleasantly surprised with a new bike path going our way. We headed through more orchards and vineyards and as the valley closed in the mountains got higher. Most of the orchards are apple orchards and they are in full fruit picking mode right now. The trees are grown on a trellis, like a grape, and the branches are sagging with the weight of big, ripe apples. We both fought the temptation to pick any and ended up buying a couple at the fruit stand today. Good stuff.
We are back in the land of Laundromats so Leslie is off the hook for her forearm building exercises. Tomorrow we will take a little break off the bikes and do laundry, catch up on internet and stare at the amazing, beautiful and regal mountains that surround our home for the next day.
Still in Italy…I think.

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