Day 105 Sirmione, Lake Garda to Cortina, Dolomites.

We retired fairly early last night with a view to rising at dawn to see the sunrise. In truth, we didn’t really need to set our alarm, since, just as the night before, the noises emitted from the wildlife on the lake were significantly louder than either of our alarms. We got up just after six, trying very hard not to wake the other campers. Sunrise was about twenty minutes later, and well worth the effort of getting out of our bed. The colour over the lake was magnificent, and a fitting end to our stay on Lake Garda.

Having got up so early, Howard then went off for his run, whilst I showered. When he got back, off pinged his Garmin with yet another award – the ‘Early Riser’s’ award. Since he’s clearly so motivated by prizes, I’m now considering a star chart for him – maybe one star for not leaving your dirty socks on the floor of Oscar, two for remembering where you left the car keys – it may work?

After breakfast, we headed off up the east side of Lake Garda, with the intention of having coffee at the far end. However, we hadn’t taken into account that it was an Italian bank holiday, celebrating the liberation of Italy at the end of the World War 2, and the roads around Lake Garda were heaving. After sitting in a traffic jam, we thought better of our idea, and headed straight on to our next destination – the Dolomites. It was a shame though, since Howard had camped on the shores of Lake Garda with his parents as a child, and had been keen to show me some more of it – another time maybe. 

We headed first up the motorway, the scenery getting more and more mountainous as we approached the foothills of the Dolomites. Once off the motorway, the vistas became absolutely spectacular! We stopped in a village, eager to buy some provisions, but all the shops were closed for the bank holiday. So in the end, we managed to find a cafe open to have a late lunch, and we sneaked away a couple of the bread rolls in our serviettes for our tea.

Our campsite for the night is situated near to Cortina, in the shadow of some towering peaks, and our pitch is right by a thundering mountain stream. I suspect it must have one of the best camping views in Italy. Since we had arrived in good time, we opted to go for a quick cycle ride, along the cycle path into Cortina. It had seemed a good idea at the time, but the cycle track was clearly more suited for mountain bikes, being very rocky and uneven. So we bumpity-bumped our way there and back, and in the end had rather wished we’d walked the five miles. Back at Oscar, we sat and had a cup of tea admiring our stupendous view.

It’s decidedly colder here in the mountains, and the shorts are now off, and the trousers back on. As the sun is going down, there is a definite chill in the air. Our cacophony of bird noise by the lake has now been replaced by the thunderous roar of water. Bets are on as to who will be getting up in the night first!

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