September 9, 2019.
Today the weather was great! Today’s hike was only 3.3 miles with a 1,900 foot elevation loss to the next refugio called Pederu. It was all down hill in the best way.
My typical refugio breakfast was fruit, cured meat, and fresh baked croissants filled with berry preserves. It was high in calories but it allowed me to easily hike to the next refugios without having to pack a lunch.
View heading down the trail to the next refugio:
As I was hiking down the trail I passed a couple that had this cat following them up the hill. I asked them if it belonged to them and they said “nein.” The poor thing was meowing loudly and immediately was rubbing up against me. I knew there was a refugio within a 1/4 mile so I started cajoling the cat to follow me. (Not a refugio I was staying at.)
When we got within view of the refugio the cat became quiet and trotted off to one of the buildings. What a relief!
Notice the layering in the rock. The Dolomites were formed when an ancient seabed was pushed up when the Italian peninsula slammed into northern Europe. The lighter colored younger seabed is at the higher elevations. The darker older rocks are at the lower elevations.
At this refugio I had my own room and bathroom. This meant I could do my laundry. I washed my clothes in a large heavy duty zip lock type bag (Lok Sak from Amazon) and tied a 1/8 inch cord between the shower head and bathroom window handle for a clothes line. I left the bathroom fan running. By morning everything was dry.
The refugios really were of no help when it came to laundry. They typically had less than 4 sinks that were small and shared by 20 people. You typically arrived and checked in by 3 pm and were required to check out of the refugio by 9 am. Who wants to hike all day then face laundry? By the time I was rested and “up” for doing laundry the bathrooms were busy. The refugios had drying rooms for coats and boots but only one refugio had clothes lines for guests.
I also reviewed my maps and got rid of the ones I no longer needed trying to save weight. The next two days involved major climbing and pack weight was critical. I tossed out about a 1/4 pound of paper. The maps were printed on heavy stock. I only had the maps for emergency use if my smartphone broke or the battery was discharged. I also carried an old fashioned compass as a backup too. I love tech, but you can’t trust it.
Dinner at this refugio was very nice. The salad bar had all kinds of beans, beets, tomatoes, sweet yellow peppers, spinach greens, and iceberg lettuce. Dressing consisted of quality balsamic vinegar with olive oil.
In Bologna there is a drogheria that sells amazing balsmic vinegar produced in Modena. I keep thinking about it. It is amazing how food can trigger memories.
The main dinner course was a local dish that consisted of seasoned ground beef in some kind of casing with half an egg cooked in the middle. It was delicious. The polenta and red peppers were tasty too.
The next day began two days of heavy climbing with distance. I was hoping that there would be no rain. The day after I would be at very high elevation where snow would be inevitable in unsettled weather. This wasn’t Disneyland and I hadn’t forgotten that I didn’t have winter gloves nor was I familiar with the trails. The wine was good and I slept well.