Yesterday the rifugio was so busy that the staff barely noticed us. This morning they were all quite chatty, friendly and welcoming. Again, no English, but we were all doing our best to have a conversation in German. We met a Dutch couple who were also Traumpfad trekkers. We left with lots of cious, grazis and hugs.
The air was fresh and crisp as we contoured along the mountainside.
Sprinkled through this area were many avalanche deterrent devices that seemed to be radio controlled. They looked like giant water facuets stuck in the side of the mountain.
As we continued down the mountain Lago Fedaia came into view. The going was steep with many switchbacks. We met two men who were packing supplies up the mountain for the sheepherders that stay high in the mountains for the summer.
When we crossed the dam at the lake we could look back and see the mountain we had just descended and agreed that it was just as steep as we had thought it was!
This area attracts car rallies (we saw an Audi rally), serious cyclists and motorcycles. As we walked down to Malga Ciapela following a very long ski resort drag line, shy marmots darted in and out of their dens, shrieking out their warnings about invaders in their territory.
At Malga Ciapela we entered Sottoguda Gorge. The only way through this area was either walking or riding a little bus that looked like “the little train that could”. The gorge is very narrow with towering cliffs on each side and a river at their base. We noticed caves in the cliffs that we discovered were made for powder magazines during WWI. In WWII the locals used the caves as bomb shelters.
Now the area is a tourist attraction for hikers and ice climbers.
This was a lovely walk which ended in the charming little village of Sottoguda. Our B&B was in the adjoining village.
The B&B in Rocca Pietore was a bit of a disappointment. It was in a part of the village that was in transition…some well maintained places and some rather pitiful places. Farm buildings and chickens mixed in between the houses.
It was clean and our hostess was very helpful, but it was not what we had hoped for. As we walked back toward Sottoguda for dinner we were amazed by a huge herd of sheep, the herders, a donkey and three border collies. It was quite a sight to watch the dogs work!
Our hostess recommended a pizza restaurant which turned out to serve the best pizza I had ever had! The chef came to our table, was very welcoming and appreciative of our business. Looking back, we should have pressed on to Alleghe. We had plenty of time to do that and would have been able to get up in the high mountains again ahead of the next snow storm.