Friday, June 15, 2012

Jun 11 - Jun 15 Bye-Bye Switzerland

Today, I crossed the Rein river in Koblenz ready for a new phase in my journey from Rome to Antwerp. with this 2/3 of the trip is now completed. What concerns the sponsoring for AMAR, the news is even better we already have 75 times 1 Euro cent per kilometer or 3/4 of the objective set. I still believe both goals can be obtained. I fixed now the calendar for the remaining part with adding an extra day at Trier where I will met my wife Chris before the last stage in Luxembourgh and Belgium will begin. This means that I hope to arrive in Antwerp on 20 July.

Near Amden
What happened after I arrived in Amden? As I changed the stopover place, I had also to update the route to keep-up with my schedule, for this the last pass in the Alps went to the Togenburger valley where I followed the river Thur to Wattwill. Because the many rain showers and the slippery wooden constructions downhill the mountain the decent was not easily done. But I arrived wet and healthy in Wattwill. The next day I went to the Fischingen Kloster , this time it rained from the moment I woke up till I went to sleep. With the result that not only I but also part of my luggage was completly wet. Fortunally this monastry lies on the Swiss St Jacob route and is well foreseen to take care of the recovery of wet pelgrims. Anyway the rain didn´t disturb me too much as my thoughts were with my two grandchildren Sander an Rhune who were born today.  The next morning I wake up at 5 o´clock to attend the vespers, at this had a positive effect as it stopped raining when I started walking the next day. But at noon when I had a last climb in the pre-alps it started raining again. When I was close to Winterthur someone who traveled himself a lot on foot, bike and ski invited me to stay over at his home where I had a nice evening talking about the journeys each of us made in the past. To finalize the Alp adventure I walked the next 2 days first along the Toss river and then along the Rein at beautiful paths close to the river and this time again with a sunny sky. For my last evening in Switzerland I stayed at a farm using the Schlaf im Stroh formula witch was a nice expedience and budget friendly!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

May 25 - June 10

May 25th By leaving Cremona I went by the cemetary, something very special! For the rest of the day I followed bicycle path next to some canals, veru quiet and no traffic. I put up my tent in Parco Del Oglio Nord near to Genivolta. May 26th Today I am camping by the river De Serio at 15km from Bergamo. May 27th Sunshine! A few more kilometers by the river De Serio in company of joggers and cyclists. After that, to Bergamo where I get the company of Koen, who'll walk with me for a few days. May 28th Today is the first day in the Alps. We're going untill 1100m where we can see the Po and enter a nice village. After that we descend trough a steep road to Pelligrino Therme at the Brembo where we find a nice hotel. May 29th Today at first we're walking next to an old railway with a lot of tunnels to Giovanni Bianco. After that a pass at 1450m en a steep descent to Olmo and further to San Brigida where we are welcomed in a nice little hotel. May 30th We are following a mountainriver untill a reservoir at 1500m. After that, it goes 400m higher to Rif San Marco where we can sleep and see marmots. May 31st Today is the last day with Koen! I am going to miss his company! We go higher a little bit more to the Passo San Marco untill 2000m where there is still some snow left and we have a nice view on the mountains ahead of us. After that, back where we can from, we descend by the Via Priula, a road from the 16th century, to Morbengo at 230. I have walked 1150km untill now! June 1st We have to get up early because Koen is taking the train back to Bergamo. I need to search a little bit to get back at the North side of the lake but then I see an old Pelgrim path over a cliff next to the Lago Di Mezzola to the Church San Fedelino. I need to climb a lot to get to the church. De road next to the Mera is thankfully a little bit easier. After looking for a while, I find shelter in a farm in San Cassiano. June 3rd Sunshine! The rains begins at 4pm. My tent is very wet but I'm still dry. I looking up to the challenge of this etappe alone in the rain and the fog a little bit. Once I'm on the road though, I'm feeling better. The path goes next to a steep rock up on the mountain to a fairylike scene. Wet till the body I find shelter at 1900m where I can take a hot shower and eat a nice spaghetti. June 4th When I leave for the 1st km to the pass there's an icecold wind and it's snowing, but the fog is gone. At 1900m the snow is steady on the ground and I need to exchange the path for a real road. At 2115m I'm at the border of Switserland. In Switserland it's not snowing anymore but there's still a lot of snow on the ground and the fog is back untill I come closer to Splugen where the sun shines a little bit. A little further in Sufers I find a hotel at the lake. I am now for a 100% in de Alps of Switserland. June 5th The 4th and last journey from the Via Splugia goes next to deep, narrow gaps where the Rheine goes trough, a big spectacle! Almost at the end of the tunnel I trip over a root but at first sight, I seem to be okay. June 6th The fall from yesterday is keeping me out of my sleep because of pain in my shoulder. Thats why I decide not to take the pass from 1850m to Safiental and go next to the river to Bonaduz. This will give me an extra day to rest. And there are a few more beautifull mountains ahead of me anyway. June 8th Today I need to walk a lot of kilometers and climb again. But it's more than worth it and my shoulder is not really hurting anymore. After the Kunkels pass lays the Tamins valley. In the valley are the Bat Pfäfers and after that an impressive cliff with a lot of waterfalls untill Bad Ragaz, where I'll be sleeping tonight. June 9th I have to choose between the road in the valley and the road trough the mountains that goes untill 1000m. I choose for a road in the middle. the first part is trough the mountains, thats only 300m higher and a wonderfull view. For the rest I take a path trough the valley. The roads in Switserland are well marked. I arrive at Walenstadt at the Walensee that I want to cross with a boat tomorrow. June 10th The day begins with a journey in the pouring rain to the lake to the boat thats gonna let me cross over to Quinten, a village that's only available by boat or by foot. There, I follow a path that goes high above the lake next to rocks that rise straight from the lake. In Amden, an old ski-envirement, I stop because the cabin where I wanted to spend the night, only opens at the end of July.