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Wednesday, July 27, 2022

June 16th: Davos to Scuol

 "Now it's raining really hard!" declared Bowen. "Yeah, I don't know if we're going to make it. Let's at least sprint for that cafe over there!" We parked the bike and ran indoors before sheets of water came down from the sky, along with lightning and sounds of thunder.

Under overcast skies, we dropped Xiaoqin and Boen off at the train station, where in a fit of stupidity I bought Xiaoqin a full price ticket instead of the half priced ticket that she was entitled to! Well, I considered that a donation to the Swiss train system, and then Bowen and I mounted the panniers and rode off to the Fluela pass. Without Boen, the bike was lighter, but we were still carrying the extra 20 pounds worth of his seat and the panniers while light, wasn't quite light enough. I remember from previous trips that Fluela pass was easy, but it wasn't that easy!
To add insult to injury, it started raining as we approached Gasthaus zum Tschuggen, necessitating a sprint to get to it where we ran into the coffee shop/restaurant when it really started to pour! It being too early for the kitchen to be open, we ordered coffee and a chocolate while we waited out the storm. We contemplated that we might have to roll back down the hill to catch a train in Davos when the rain stopped.
A couple of corners up the road and the weather started being cloudy instead of rainy, but I was still feeling exhausted. A combination of the altitude and the sprint to the gasthaus had burned all my matches for the day, so now I was reliant on Bowen to help keep us going up the hill. We were forced to stop and rest every 150m of elevation gain, but fortunately the rain had thinned the traffic a bit and it was so calming to look at the scenery above treeline!

All hills must eventually come to an end, and we finally reached the summit, where we walked into the summit restaurant and ordered lunch. A soup for Bowen and a salad for me. Now there was no question that we would finish the ride.

The descent was as spectacular as I remembered it, with us stopping once in a while to check the brakes, but given the cool weather we were in never danger of blowing out the tires or overheating the rims.

People were curious about our bikes and we would use that as an opportunity to get shots of the two of us. Once down into Susch, we rolled along the highway, eschewing the bike path as in the downhill direction the loaded triplet was as fast as a car.

My notes from my 2014 tour was that Scuol was a good place to stop in the afternoon because past that the headwind up the valley would blow you to a stop anyway. What I hadn't realized was that on my single bike, I hadn't noticed the climbs all the way from Susch to Scuol, because on the single bike those climbs were trivial! And climbs was what protected the road from the headwinds, but on the triplet with panniers the climbs were non trivial, and my legs were shot! So we ground along on the road which fortunately didn't have much traffic. The Scuol train station was labeled Scuol-Tarasp, and I didn't pay much attention to it prior to the trip, but this time on the approach I noticed the bridge across the Inn river rising steeply to the right towards Tarasp. I said to Bowen, that hotel looks spectacular but I'm so happy I didn't pick it instead of the Bellaval Scuol!
We found Xiaoqin and Boen already settled into the hotel, and they had already went up the cable car and highly recommended it, so after we dropped the bags and parked the bike we immediately went up the cable car. It was not disappointing at all, with a scenic zipline playground, petting goats, and stunning scenery. I now regret that Arturo and I didn't stop at Scuol the last time we were in the area instead of going all the way to Ramonsch.

It being the first hotel we were staying at with a half pension, we took advantage of it and ate our fill. I realized that I was suffering from calorie deprivation all through the trip because we'd been shopping for food a la carte and so I would stop at my usual metric of "no longer hungry" when eating. Having a half-pension hotel broke me out of that pattern into the "eat until you're full" touring mode that I needed to be in throughout the trip but which would cause me to gain weight if I kept it up after the tour!


N said...

Why was xiaoqin able to get a half priced ticket?

Piaw Na said...

We bought a half tax pass for her