We finally have internet again as we have been out of the loop wild camping in the Dolomites so here's an update on what we have been up to in the meantime. The day after the random heavy snowfall in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, we set off for the climb of Mount Vank (I am writing it as it is pronounced as this site censors the correct spelling!). A full days hike up and back as we choose not to use the cable car back like most sensible people. This is a hard trek but we are getting fitter and fitter by the day! We met up with a lovely German couple at the campsite bar who are on the last leg of their journey after 8 months travelling Europe (Guten Tag Dirk & Sandra, and Henry & Heidi the Beagles!) and thanks to Dirk's excellent English we were able to swap stories over food and drinks over the weekend.
The following day Dirk & Sandra waved us off as we set off for Austria. We headed for Natterer See campsite just outside Innsbruck for a couple of days stopover to clean ourselves and the van up and do some laundry. This campsite is a little slice of heaven, with the most amazing shower rooms (see the photos) after some of the more basic sites and wild camping. Sounds a bit sad I know to get to so enthusiastic about a campsite but after showering in the van, or using crappy showers where you have to push a button every 30 seconds for water this place is out of this world!!
Once we were all sorted we set off for The Dolomites via the GrossGlockner Pass which travels through the mountains for 48km through the Hohe Tauern National Park in Austria. We had read about the route but nothing could prepare us for how awesome it was. A 360 degree panorama of soaring peaks as far as the eye can see with the 3797 metre high Grossglockner at it's peak. The road can be travelled in just over an hour in good conditions, however due to the early snowfall and the fact that we just had to keep stopping all the time to take in the unbelievable views we spent all day there. Well worth every cent of the 23 Euro toll and we got there just in time before the pass closes at the end of October.
After an amazing day on the Grossglockner pass our plans for a quick stopover at Lienz on the Austrian border were brought to an abrupt end. Our guidebook said it was 4 star but we drove into what looked like a dirty gypo camp and quickly decided to press on for another couple of hours to The Dolomites. So we had a late night arrival into the little village of Corvara and the delightful little lay-by that we had stayed at previously. There are no camping facilities but it is such a stunning location we love it there and make do with what we have. 5 days free camping in such a beautiful place is worth the sacrifice of shower blocks and running water on tap.
Although the area had also had some early snowfall we were able to get up into the mountains which was fantastic. When we were here in May trekking above the valleys was impossible due to the amount of snow so that was unfinished business from our previous trip. With supplies running low it was time to move on to our current destination Slovenia.....
Rudy has been loving the snowy conditions and has hardly shed any of his coat which is unusual. His coat has got really thick and he has puffed up like a real mountain dog. However now we have arrived in Slovenia it is pretty warm and humid so think he is wondering what on earth is going on! He seems to think this whole trip is all about him and has decided that his favourite place to lounge is right in the gangway of the van and is happy to lay there snoring whilst we tiptoe around him in the little floor space that is left over!! We keep telling him there is no I in team but he just chooses to ignore it.
Cheers for now
Sarah, John & Rudy xxx