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Friday, July 27, 2018

June 16th: Bschlabs to Landeck

The guest house at Bschlabs offers a generous breakfast, including eggs that you can make yourself. Bowen discovered that he really liked soft-boiled eggs, and would eat them whenever he got a chance. We packed up and left by 8:40am, and immediately started up the mountain.
I'd forgotten how tough climbing on a fully loaded tandem was. Add to that my lingering jet-lag (which my melatonin pills were absolutely not helping with), and problems getting used to my HDM Z1, it took no fewer than 4 stops to get to the top of Hahntennejoch. I was grateful that I did not try to do the entire ride from Elmen all in one day!
At the top of the pass, there was an ice cream vendor, so Bowen got a popsicle, while I relaxed and recovered from the ride. Other cyclists and motorcyclists would make it up the hill and stare at the tandem, and we were the only obvious cycle tourists on the mountain that day.
The Hahntennejoch descent was my first descent in the alps, and it made a deep impression on me back in 2003. 15 years later, doing the descent on the tandem, I'm a much better bike handler and the scary parts no longer seem scary. Even the steep 20% grade in the town of Imst posed no problems, and I wasn't even concerned about overheating the brakes because I wasn't using them very much. In town, we stopped at a supermarket to buy lunch, and then proceeded down into the valley where I found the bike path as described to me by the late Jobst Brandt way back in 2003: follow the signs to the Bahnof, look for the river rafting put-in, ride past the put in and look for the bridge across the river with the bike path marked for Landeck.

Now that we were in the valley, the afternoon heated up rapidly. We were getting hungry, but kept not finding picnic spots, and eventually just gave up and parked the bike on a bench outside somebody's house where it was shaded and ate bread and meat. A woman bicycle tourist rode by and gave Bowen some cherries! It would turn out that they were part of a group going over the Reschen pass (which we planned to do) over to Lake Garda and Verona (which was also potentially part of our plan). We'd see them on and off that day, but not see them again after that day.

In Landeck, we saw a swimming pool, which looked really good given the hot weather. We found a hotel nearby on, and rode over to pick up guest passes and drop off some of our panniers and rode back to it. The swimming pool had very cold water, and neither of us lasted 15 minutes in the pool, but it was still a refreshing swim. On the way back to the hotel after the swim we got hot again and bought some ice cream before checking into our hotel for our regular routine of shower and laundry.
For dinner we walked over to the best reviewed pizza place in town, which turned out to be right next to the Sport Camp Tirol. We really should have stayed there instead, since it appeared to be quite nice though not quite on our way up to the Reschen pass. I went to bed hoping that after all that sun exposure my jet-lag would get better.


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