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20020724a glacier.jpg (147760 bytes) 20020724d marmalada.jpg (146684 bytes) 20020724c beryl.jpg (148115 bytes) 20020724e valleypath.jpg (144265 bytes)
The Marmolada glacier And again Beryl by the glacier The valley path
20020724f vera.jpg (145114 bytes)

Not a long walk today, largely because my cold had worsened and after a sleepless night I was feeling like a zombie.

We caught he bus to the top of the valley and walked across the dam on the Lago Fedaia to catch the chair lift to the Marmolada glacier. There is another lift that goes nearly to the top but that is a couple of valleys round the far side - Marmolada is a complex range of hills, not a single up leading to a summit. This lift was quite good in that you have to stand in a half cage and jump out of the back at the top. Just after we dismounted we saw a family almost leave a small child in the cage because the parents were concentrating so much on getting themselves out.

From the lift you climb up about 100 steps to the edge of the ice. I did it and just wanted to sit down. Beryl for once got to explore a bit that I didn't see. 

One thing that had intrigues me during the previous days was the capacity of Italians for wearing woolly jumpers on even the hottest of days. Here I saw the opposite - a woman sunbathing in minute bikini on the edge of the glacier.

We descended and took one of the walks in the booklet. The valley below the dam is very deep and we came down this. Even in my dazed state it was lush and very enjoyable, with lots of plants and interest. This is a more boring section in the middle where it has nearly reached the valley bottom and you follow a level track for a mile or so. Beryl spent the time studying the stations of the cross beside the path.

You have to cross the main valley road and pick up a forest track. This emerges on a wonderful high alpine path. It's the most perfect location running into what the booklet describes as the hamlet of Vera. In fact it is just a farm and a chapel but it is stunning - see the photo.

There is a steep descent into Penia, a village bypassed by the main valley road and prettier for it. We grabbed an ice cream and then the bus back to our hotel. We visited the pharmacy where I was loaded up with drugs. I then slept virtually round the clock; by this time it was obvious that I was running a temperature and needed to sleep it off. This did be the world of good and I was ready for action again in the morning.  



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