domenica 24 luglio 2011

Alta Via dei Monti Lariani

On Monday, I learned my lesson from Sunday and took the C13 bus 750m up the mountains to the village of Breglia to start my second hike. I was planning to go up to the Rifugio Menaggio, our over-ambitious goal from the day before, and continue on to Monte Grona and beyond, but when I got to the fork in the path leading to the refuge, I decided that "beyond" would be more exciting and set off along the ridge, following the Alta Via dei Monti Lariani.

The one flaw in my plan was that I had meant to fill up my water bottle at the refuge and, by bypassing the highest tap on the mountain, I left myself with limited supplies, which, given that the temperature down in the valley was about 30 degrees, was not very clever. I knew there were some water fountains on the way down, so I decided that I would carry on for as long as my water lasted and turn back as soon as I had drunk the last mouthful. Luckily, this turned out to be the summit of Monte Bregagno, which was about as far as I wanted to go anyway, especially as I had a bus to catch.

As well as having stunning views, the ridge was actually pleasantly cool and I enjoyed myself hugely, stopping for lunch and to admire the views of Monte Grona and Lake Lugano at Sant'Amate before carrying on the the highest point at Monte Bregagno.

It was only as I strode back down the mountain in search of water and the bus, with the temperature seeming to increase by several degrees with every step I took, that I realised how hot the weather actually was. I finished the day with a well-earned gelato from the shop on the main piazza in Menaggio (great ice-cream but very grumpy service!) and a dive into the lake to cook down.

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