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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Day 11: Pian S. Giacomo to Andeer

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Cynthia and Kekoa realized that they were far faster than the tandem uphill, and in the morning decided that they were going to do a loop into Italy and then meet us at Klausen pass. Phil was feeling better, but not so much so that he thought he could keep up with the others, so he elected to stay with me and Lisa.
From Tour of the German Speaking Alps 2010

From Pian S. Giacomo, the road climbed a series of hairpins steeply up the grade to San Bernardino, where it loses a few hundred meters to meet the freeway tunnel. Cyclists have to use the road over the old summit, but since it was a beautiful day for it, nobody paid any mind. Past the extremely touristy town of San Bernardino, the road changes character again, going over roadside streams and quickly losing most of its vegetation. The long views of the surrounding mountains and the gentle grade makes San Bernardino a beautiful pass to visit, and I was almost sorry when we hit the summit in an anti-climatic roll to the summit lake.
From Tour of the German Speaking Alps 2010

We were still feeling the lingering effects of our illness, and at the top ordered some tea and ate our snacks before braving the descent. The descent on a busy Sunday went down a series of hairpins which did not let me get any speed whatsoever. It would have been far worse, however, had not a wonderful German driver decided to just pace us down the hill so that we would have protection from passing motor vehicles. He waved to us and took off when the road flattened out at Hinterrhein. We waited there to make sure Phil did not get lost, and then took the fast descent down to Splurgen, where we saw Cynthia and Kekoa again after they had just had lunch.

Lunch at Splurgen was unsatisfying, and I did not like the look of the town, so proposed that we did more descending. Cynthia had complained that the bike route to Splurgen was the toughest bike route she had ever done, but looking at the terrain I was confident that it wouldn't be hard from Splurgen. But first, when I spotted a shaded spot, Lisa decided she wanted to take a nap. Phil and I took a short walk that didn't go anywhere interesting during her nap, and after the nap, I discovered to my delight that the path went on the other side of the Sufnersee from the main road on an unpaved track.
From Tour of the German Speaking Alps 2010

Past Sufers, the descent began again in earnest as the road floated high above the gorge of the Hinterrhein and then began a steep dive towards in! The descent was fast, smooth, and exciting, and as close to flying as anyone could wish for.
From Tour of the German Speaking Alps 2010

At the Roflaschlucht, we decided to do the touristy thing and visit the gorge, but it turned out to be a tourist trap, not as impressive as any of the gorges I had seen in prior trips. We rolled down to Andeer around 4:30pm, and after checking out and failing to find anything really cheap, settled at the Hotel Post.

At dinner, we asked about the mineral baths in town, and it turned out that the hotel provided a minor discount for the baths. We headed over to the mineral baths after dinner, and discovered that it was unfortunately only heated to about 32C, which still felt a little cold. Lisa, however, claimed that it helped her skin quite a bit, and would spend the rest of the trip searching for more mineral baths.


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