Last night was somewhat depressing. The cloud had descended and the hut at Kreuzwiesen Alm was surrounded by dense mist. Much worse Christine and I were in a 30 bed lager or dormitory. It felt like we had been sent to the naughty room as everyone else seemed to have a proper bedroom. What's more the smell in the place was not pleasant, a poisonous combination of damp rotting socks and cow dung.
|Cows leaving our dormitory|
The surprising outcome, however was that we got a reasonable night's sleep. Despite its size there were only two other people in the huge space and they had sensibly positioned themselves as far away from us as they could. Everyone else who had their 'own' room ended up sharing it with one or two strangers, so maybe the 'dorm' isn't the thing of dread we had cooked it up to be. We even discovered why it smelt of cows, it was because there were cows living in the basement who turned out, apart from the smell, to be very good neighbours.
Today's walk was a short one, 5 hours, and at the end of it there was a good hotel. The scheduled stop, the Schlüterhütte which has 90 beds, was full. It means tomorrow's walk, which takes us right into the heart of the Dolomites is a big one but preferable I suspect to a night spent in a full hut.
Last night's fog was still there this morning and hung around to midday so it was another day of spoilt views. With 10 metres visibility everyone set off onto the wide open upland moor and tried to find their way south. Most Germans seem to regard anything more than a map and a compass as cheating and promptly got themselves lost. A few realised that we, guided by the wonders of GPS, knew where we were going and followed us.
After four hours of nothing but fog (and weirdly a large wooden boat in a lake on top of the moor) we arrived at a hut at the other side of the moor and celebrated with speknoodle soup. For a time the fog cleared and we were treated to a misty outline of the Peitlerkofel, a dramatic peak and a northern outlier of the Dolomites.
By 1-30 we were in the hotel, large and very comfortable and situated where a road crosses a pass. It's happened twice now but as soon as I got in the door I was greeted by 'hello Mr Hayes, how are you'. How do they know I'm Mr Hayes - do I look English, very worrying.
For the first time in days we have had wifi of a sort. I spent about an hour examining hundreds of different weather forecasts until I eventually settled on one which suggested that it might be sunny for the next two/three days. After the weather we have walked through, if it's sunny in the Dolomites it will all have been worth it.
PS - walkers were still arriving from last night's hut 3 hours after we arrived, lost until the mist cleared.
|Sneak preview of the Peitlerkofel|