6,500 KM CYCLE; DAY 71, Villach to Oberdorf

Day 71; Friday 10 August 1984

Oberdorf, Weissersee. Austria. Altitude 950m. 77km. Total 4073km.

Mountain Terrain, wet weather. 2 passes (892m, 1077m)

Leave the tall slender pines in cloud shroud. Rain is intermittent. Carry on up the steep road through Heiligenglist, to a summit car park and viewpoint with benches, where breakfast muesli is consumed while watching clouds shine and rise, moving against each other always.

A descent to the main road where we meet an Englishman cycling the opposite way. He hails us because he notices the GB stickers. We talk for an hour. He has been away since April, and used to team-race in France. He tells of the Hochalpenstrasse, saying that it is very difficult indeed and that there is nothing like it in all Europe. He always camps wild and washes his things in the stream. He is thin and has very muscular shaved legs.

We stop soon for coffee at a village Gasthof (old magazines, go out in to the sunny garden for the toilet). Now we stop again at Hermaggor where we buy lunch.   Rain is pending when we set out up a pass through lovely looking hills with pine scents, wooden houses and buildings built so solidly. We have been told that the Weissersee is beautiful so are going that way. The top of the pass comes, and so does heavy rain. Lovely lunch beside a white shrine box with candles and flowers inside. People are waiting for a bus.

A wet descent to the right turn for the lake which is green/turquoise in colour. We take a footpath that leads along to the lake, past peoples private wooden summer houses with green flat gardens beside the water that seems to be on the same level. We find a bank just in time, A campsite would be good but the first we try is too expensive so, another more quiet is better. We camp beside a solid wood hut, with very small windows where we leave the cycles, and beside a big rock. The site, as usual is immaculate with beautiful toilets and showers . All around are hills and smooth-looking sharp-sloping meadows.

1984_08_09 Villach 1984_08_09 not sure 1984_08_09 Towards passes

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