Thursday 27 June 2013
Jim gets up at 5 am and starts to make plans. He called to me that the moon was setting again in a clear sky above the peaks, so I get up too to photograph it. Plans made, which a surprise to me, we take an early bus to La Villa, where Jim checked the start of the Maratona and we wait in the sun for the first cable car up to Piz la Ila. Here we wander in a pristine adventure park up on the tops, sparkling and hazy in the morning sun. a large restaurant shows signs of winter frolics with a range of garish artefacts and a large dog that tracks my movements as I descend to the bowels of the building to find the toilets. We try out the slackline and admire the flowered meadows before going to hire some electric mountain bikes. The man is mowing the meadows and breaks off to come and administer the bikes to us. with very little explanation we mount our new steeds and wobble off out of sight so that we can sort ourselves out. We explore the paths all over this high plateau, and enjoy the extra power on the hills until Jims battery runs out. I just think I have suddenly become very strong and good at riding uphill until we swap bikes and I see what he means. We make our way by a circuitous route to a different cable car station where we can drop the bikes off. It is the greatest fun whizzing along the tracks high above everything and in company with the mountains. the path took us down a long way into the woods and back up again, at a gradient that I would have been challenged to ride up normally.
When we have returned the bikes, we lunch outside at Col Alt Refuge, looking down in to the valley with our paths, tracks and roads and chalets laid out below us in the valley.