September 10, 2019.
This day’s hike was moderate. It was only about 1,900 foot elevation gain over 4 miles. The temperature was in the 40s with some cloudiness in the higher elevations.
I arrived at Refugio Fanes in the afternoon. The refugios all started looking alike to me. This was the first refugio that had some kind of involvement in WWI. In the front of the building were a couple of partially exploded artillery shells. This made me sad that war could reach up there. There was no industry, no transportation infrastructure, no passes that armies could traverse, just fighting over national boundaries, national pride, patriotism, and flags.
My late lunch (below) was pasta made fresh that day. The venison ragu was excellent. To my surprise the cabbage on the pasta was an incredibly delicious sauerkraut of some kind made without vinegar. I love being surprised by food that is good that I have not tasted before.
The trolls below are also on posts along the trail. Ladin folklore is that these icons scare away the real trolls that play mean tricks on travelers on these ancient trails.
I was assigned a dorm room up two flights of stairs and chose a floor level bunk next to a window and chair. A chair next to the bunk was a luxury because typical shelving is either non-existent or inadequate in dorms. You need shelving for your flashlight, smartphone, headphones, water, and glasses.
This was another mixed gender dorm room. It seems this is the standard for these dorms. People change clothes by simply by turning their backs and changing quickly. Etiquette is to turn away while somebody is changing.
Dinner was awkward. Sitting at a group tables you never know who you will meet. The minute they figure out you are American the conversation inevitably ends up with me explaining electoral college issues. This night I sat across from an Israeli mother and her two daughters who were muslim and afraid that Israel would become a jewish state. All three were highly educated and spoke multiple languages. They were afraid they would lose their citizenship given where current Isreali leadership was heading with American support.
This was not a relaxing dinner. The next day’s hike was going to be pushing my physical limits. At least my mind was not spinning around on topo maps, distances, elevation gains/losses and weather. Yet another great glass of italian wine helped me sleep.