Day 5 (19/08/2014): Hopfgarten i. Defereggental-Pieve di Livinallongo/Buchenstein (140km/3,200m ascent/4+1 passes/drank 5.0 litres)

passes climbed:
Staller Sattel (2,052m); [Passo Cimabanche (1,530m) – unplanned!]; Col Sant’ Angelo (1,756m); Passo Tre Croci (1,809m); Passo di Falzárego (2,117m)

towns passed:
Antholz; Toblach; Cortina d’Ampezzo

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my way up from ‘Defereggen valley’ to ‘Staller Sattel’

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I have arrived in the heart of the Dolomites – and I can tell you: it only partly feels like it. Last time that I was here was in October, with sun and 30 degrees (I’m not exaggerating!). This time it is August, but only 9-15 degrees, low hanging clouds, a lot of rain. A warm shower at the end of a long day was very welcome – and in that situation I was quite happy about my non-camping decision.

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in the Dolomites

With having climbed ‘Staller Sattel’ (which I reached perfectly in time for the 15-minutes window per hour when you’re allowed to enter the single-track road downhill), I have now left two countries behind on this trip: after Germany, now Austria is history too. I did enjoy my time there a lot – but I’m curious what the remaining countries (Italy, Switzerland and France) will have to offer.

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on top of my first pass of the day – perfectly timed

As for Italy I can say: definitely a lot of rain. I’ll leave the interpretation up to you, but right at the top of 2,052m high ‘Staller Sattel’ – which at the same time is the border – it started raining heavily. I’m not sure if it was Austria crying about me having moved on, or Italy about me now cycling there for quite a while…

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taken next to the ‘Hotel Drei-Zinnen-Blick/view of Tre Cime – well, this is the view I got…

Possibly the latter one – as I had to ask myself the question already whether Italy and Martin will ever become very close friends: I got lost today! Missed a junction in ‘Schluderbach’ and continued on the main road towards Cortina d’Ampezzo – which I realised 3km further on top of a – little – pass!! Silly me. But through that I would have missed two other, more serious pass roads. So I decided to turn around. With the second attempt I managed to find my way – i.e. watch my GPS-track and road signs more carefully. And I had my extra pass for the day!

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on my way up to the highest point of the day: Passo Falzarego

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Overall I can say that this day, probably also but not only because of the weather was a complete difference to the day before: I saw hardly any other cyclists and way less cars and coaches on the passes than the day before up Großglockner road. But especially with the cyclists, this might change on Passo Pordoi, one of the famous Dolomites passes which is waiting for me next.

1,385km/30,200m ascent/23 passes to go!
(By the way [in order to avoid my competence in numbers being challenged]: if someone adds up my daily statistics and doesn’t quite find this consistent with the remaining distance/ascent: this is because the one is taken from my route planning overview, and the other one from a combination of my bike computer, GPS, and maps… it’s all very complicated 😉 And the numbers will only be exact at the end of my trip when I can properly analyse my GPS-tracks. [For the ones who shake their heads now in disbelief with what kind of thoughts I spend a part of my day: no worries, that’s a sign that everything is going well still 😄])

accurate route details (incl. GPS track):
Vienna-Nice Transalp – day 5 (Hopfgarten i.D.-Pieve di Livinallongo)
Start date/time: Tue, 19 Aug 2014 8:41, distance (km): 139.37, elevation (ascent in m): 2,881

all photos of the day:

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