Now I have to get serious about trip planning.  Two of my hiking friends will join me, and we will meet in Munich. We will take a train to Bad Tolz where we will start the trek.  This will eliminate two days of flat walking.  We have also planned to end our hike at Susegana, Italy and then to take the train the last forty miles to Venice which would again be flat road walking.

I spent the first week in January researching our route and decided on where we should stop each day.  We are not going to take any rest days, but will have several days where we hike only a small number of miles.  We could get ourselves in trouble, however, if we get poor weather and have to hold up until we get a better day.

It was a little disconcerting when the first place I contacted responded that they were all booked for the night we wished to stay.  This put a fire under me, and I plowed through all of our accommodation list in a matter of days.  I found six places that required that I send a deposit to hold our reservation.  I was given bank names and account numbers to wire the money.  My bank was not helpful with this, in fact, they wanted to charge me more for the wire transfer than the amount I was transferring.  I finally found Western Union which was quite reasonable.  The next hurdle is to get the huts, rifugios or refuges to acknowledge that they received the deposit!  So far only three have!

Most of the places we are staying look to be very enjoyable.  Several of the refuges are a bit basic and proudly offer showers with only cold water!  Almost all, however, boast of splendid food. Of course, one of the bonuses on these long treks is seeing the same people over and over again.  Each evening is an evening with “old friends”.


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