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Wednesday, August 01, 2018

June 19th: Merano to Trentino

The morning's breakfast was generous, and Bowen would develop a taste for tea after deciding that hot chocolate was too sweet for him! (Yes, I have an odd kid) He was still disappointed that we weren't going to do Stelvio but were going to keep riding down the Aldige valley until we got to Lake Garda, which I've never done. Recognizing that it was going to be a hot day, our hotel gave us ice in our water bottles, a much appreciated gesture.
The ride down Merano was easily, and just on the outskirts of Merano we found another Zipline.
I'd done the ride from Merano to Bolzano only once, and going the other way, but I'm afraid I don't have much to say about river-side bike paths. I find them fairly boring: miles after miles of same same with not much elevation gain or loss to distinguish them. The Aldige bike path is particularly bad, because there's almost no shade at all, though there are many water stops.
We stopped in a little town of Mezzocorona, following signs to a restaurant, but the food was not very good, though an ice cold coke was much appreciated. Over lunch, I searched and found a hotel in Trentino with AC and created a route for it in Komoot to sync to my computer. Once back on the bike path we didn't go 3km before finding a huge rest station with snack bar and restaurant right on the bike path!
In Lavis, Komoot took us off the bike path into some local climbs which apparently would make it easier to get us to our hotel. Once in town, however, it failed, and routed us up a route that looked like it might connect, but a neighbor living on the street told us that it didn't, so it was back to having Bowen use Google Maps on the phone from the back seat to navigate, since the Wahoo Bolt would want to take hours to sync with the phone. I certainly did not appreciate the extra climbing in the afternoon heat.
The hotel turned out to be a new B&B in the middle of a renovation, and wasn't really a "farm stay", more like a winery stay. The facilities were brand new, but they didn't have a restaurant yet. We got into our room and turned on the AC and kept it on while doing our shower and laundry routine. When it was dinner time, we called the number supplied by the hotel but the taxi dispatcher claimed that there were not taxis available! We walked down to the lobby and the owner of the hotel said, "We'll drive you downtown!"
Downtown Trentino was a happening place, despite the heat. We were early enough that we had no problem getting good seats and had a nice dinner, followed by ice cream. I'd noticed that there was a bus that might serve where we were staying, and sure enough, Google Maps gave me routing directions via transit. It looked like it would only be a 400m walk, but that was better than trying to get a taxi.
Well, I guessed wrong. Google Maps routed us to the wrong place via transit, and we ended up with another 1.5km of walking. That by itself was no big deal, but it was 1.5km of walking on a highway with signs that said: "No bikes." I don't know about you, but if a highway says "No bikes," walking on it would be very unpleasant as well. I tried hitch-hiking but that was a no-go, so we ended up walking.

Back at the hotel, I looked at the map and debated dropping the rest of the ride and taking the train back to Bolzano. Once I noticed that we were only about 60km from Lake Garda, however, I decided that we should at least see Lake Garda, which Bowen had started calling "Lake Gaga".


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