May 21 – Sunday

Got up early and left 2-Laghi (two lakes) campground just after 9.

Drove to Trento – stocked up on food supplies at Lidl, then headed a bit north before we veered of northwest on our way to Bormio/Stelvio, over the Passo del Tonale.

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Very high mountains, but around every curve was another picturesque village perched on the steep mountainside.  Italian drivers are crazy – cars are bad enough but the motorcycles come out on Sundays and they are downright suicidal.  Just as one passes, with the oncoming traffic right there, another three whiz by – just nuts!

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Turned north at Tirano towards Bormio. Started to see pink ribbons and other Giro signs along the way, so know they pass by at some point. Continued north past Bormio and onto the Stelvio Pass – the 2nd highest mountain pass in the Alps, with 48 hairpin turns.

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Took over 100 pic’s on the way – do I ever love digital! Passed by a couple of possible stopping/camping places, but kept going to the top. Passed by the place where the Giro will veer off at some point into Switzerland, and kept going right to the top. So glad we did!
There’s a really large parking lot that campervans are already setting up, so we picked a spot looking over the valley we came up. Walked up just a bit and were at the top of the Pass. There’s lots of hotels/bars/restaurants here – should be a very festive atmosphere over the next couple of days. Lots of cyclists coming up both side of the climb – can’t wait to see what happens tomorrow, and then of course, on Tuesday with the actual race.

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Bright sunshine – you can see south one way into Italy at the top, looking west I’m pretty sure is Switzerland (or not far), and Austria can’t be very far to the north. I feel like I’m on top of the world – we’re above the tree-line and there’s lots of snow still on the ground around us.  We’re going to re-arrange the beds inside so I don’t have to pitch my tent in what might be sub-below temps.

Had a wonderful dinner of pasta (stuffed with spinach) with fresh salad – romaine lettuce, radish, carrot, olives, gorgonzola cheese – like a feast on top of the mountain. Met a guy in a camper next to us – had a ‘D;’ on the licence plate – asked if they were from Denmark, but the D is for ‘Deutchland’. Met another guy and asked if they were from England because they had an ‘E’ – nooo – they’re from Espana/Spain, although they were quick to point out that they were ‘Basque’, not Spanish. The parking lot near the top of the pass that we’re settled in is getting fuller by the hour. The small commercial area at the top of the mountain was crowded with cyclists when we first arrived, but when we returned after dinner it was deserted and everything was closed up.

Expect a lot more people tomorrow – looking forward to a nice warm nite in the campervan – there is 8-10 feet of snow on the sides of the road, and as soon as the sun started to set the wind kicked up – would not be very comfortable in the tent! The elevation here at the top of the pass is over 2700 meters. Every time I opened a plastic bottle the liquid spurted out because of the altitude – the dish soap, my water bottle – just sloshed all over.

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