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The route up to that point was already scenic. We came from Brunico / Bruneck and rode straight into the Dolomites from the north side at Lago di Renza. Guido and I were both not done yet with the mountains. It meant a little detour but Guido, before starting this journey, made an agreement with himself when planning our route: he could make a detour for not more than fifteen places. The Dolomites were on the list. 

And there they rose to the sky, the Pale Mountaıns, splendid in their silence, sharp as a razor edge, glittering in the sun. Mountaintop after mountaintop, over unpaved roads – muddy because of the melting snow and ice, the fresh smell of pine, red, yellow and gray rock. The descent on a gravel path to Cortiına d’Ampezzo with nobody around filled us with awe and pure joy. 

And things were getting better because in the wintersport village we would meet Elia. Through the platform of Warmshowers he offers fellow cyclists a place to stay when traveling and that day, Guido and I gladly made use of his kindness and hospitality. 

We stayed that night at his place, met his friends, the young cat Arne and listened to what he had to say:

  • According to Elia, the most beautiful mountain in the Dolomiti is Mount Pelmo, locally known as al caregon de’l Padreterno, God’s throne. And indeed, it looks like a monumental chair.
  • Elia gave Guido an Italian song about wearing two different socks. It is called Spaiati (by Cogito). We added this to our playlist and listened to it when we were having a hard time climbing hills or riding the highway.
  • This spring and summer Elia will be traveling by bike through the Netherlands. So if you see this guy and his bike, be as warm, kind and hospitable as he was. If someone deserves it, it should be him.