Camperlife blues and hike, fly & frustration

Episode 17 of our European Overland trip 2020

For those who prefer the vlog, it’s at the bottom. Don’t skip the extra video in the middle 😉

In this episode it’s just the three of us again after two amazing weeks with our flying buddies. The thing we we’re most amazed about was the fact that we lived together in our Zen Van without any effort or irritation. But now that they’ve gone back home, it’s time for activities that you can’t avoid even when you’re a flying nomad. So there’s heaps of laundry to be taken care of and hanging your clothes and bedsheets to dry inside is a bit of a challenge. But we get better at it every time.

Our second stop in Feltre is an icecream shop where Koos has some distant family. Times are tough here now that there are less tourists and that the shop had to closed down during the lock down earlier in the year. After a delicious icecream we want to check out uncle Joop’s mountain, but we have to go to the Bassano side of the mountain ridge again. We are not allowed to drive up – too heavy and too wide – so we take the bikes and get some excercise from the steep climb up. Our reward is a beautiful view over the Po Valley.

We make it back just in time befor it rains and we find a nice parking area at yet another war monument. After the rain we are treated to a beautiful rainbow and a great view at night over the valley.

In the Dolomite area there are still places to discover, so we decide to go north but through another valley. At San Martino the weather does not look good enough to fly and the parking is a bit of a problem, so we continue to Bellamonte where we spend a couple of nights at the skilifts. Another bike trip of a couple of hours takes us all the way up to Col de Lusia from where we can see our next destination. In August we find lambs and crocus next to mushrooms…

On the Passo Venegiota we take Mickey for a hike before we continue to Lago di Fedaia, a lake high up in the mountains just an hour drive from Canazei, where we have flown many beautiful flights. But after spending a night in rain and strong winds, and checking the weather forecast for the next two weeks, it’s time to take a drastical decision. Why – with still 7 more weeks till my surgery – hang around in the Alps with so much bad weather ahead of us? After a restless night and a strong coffee I share my thoughts with Koos: why don’t we go south and enjoy some summer for a couple of weeks? And after just 15 minutes we leave the mountain and drive down!

We pass Venice and stop for the night at the beach where dark clouds gather north of us. Later we learn that Venice was hit by a tornado and a horrible storm in the south of the Alps causes massive damage to roads, houses and even lives were lost. To us it’s just a lightshow in the night.

We spend a night at Corinaldo, a beautiful little historic town where the temperature finally makes an Italian wine on a terrace possible again. The next day we drive into the amazing valley of Castelluccio in the Monte Sibellini National Park, one of our favorite flying sites. This area too is under the influence of the low pressure north of us and cloud base is low. We spend a morning on the training hill and the next day we decide to hike up.

A long, long walk up follows while halfway the wind changes direction and makes us walk even longer. Koos manages to take off after some attempts but I wait too long. A frustrating 50 minutes struggle is all mine. Will I keep my head cool enough to take off – goes through my head (and Koos’s…). I make a last attempt as clouds are already gathering over my head, … well, see for yourself…

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