Malonno, nr Edolo, Italy. Saturday 10 July 1984
Aprica col 1,677m. 116km. Total 2,356. Mountain Terrain. Windy, hot.
A dispiriting and tiring day. We decide to leave the Po valley for the mountains in the hope of finding fewer industries and pollution and traffic. But today we find that the mountains to be just as dirty and polluted and busy as the plain. We leave the site beside the booming tunnel while the lake is so misty that it looks like the sea. Buy breads and eat them on a wooden jetty over the lake, quietly enjoying our new and cheaper way of eating breakfast. As we travel up the valley to higher ground we pass industries, and there is a pall of fumes in the air. We turn off the A toad after lunch to climb a pass to Aprica, climbing in 16 steep kilometres from 375 metres to 1,677metres. It is very hot, lorries are passing in a constant stream, I feel the blast of their hot exhaust on my legs as each one passes. There are many roadworks, dust, noise and stink. I roundly curse everything, the despoliation of the beautiful mountains, making it so difficult to appreciate them. High up on the pass we stop to rest and see a stream of rubbish flowing down a wooded ravine for thousands of feet.
At the top, Aprica, we have two ice creams, one while sitting in the shady garden of a bar, the other on a comfortable swinging sofa with an umbrella. Aprica is a slightly disappointing resort town. The most enjoyable part of the whole journey is the descent to Edolo where there is much less industry and more alpine meadows and small farms with oddly shaped sloping fields. At Edolo, we buy our supper and try to find a suitable farm along the road. A strange strong misty wind is blowing hard against us. We ask a lady who is using a hose, and she says we can camp on the football field. We choose a place beside some trees, eat supper inside the tent feeling very despondent. We realise this is probably because of all the hard climbs and long days.