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Friday, July 29, 2022

June 18th: Nauders to Gomagoi

 The day started with a climb up to Resia pass from Nauders on the bike path. Peaceful in the morning, and granting beautiful views, we rode the gentle climb to the Italian border, where we stopped at kilometer zero of the bike path for a photo.

Despite the name Resia pass, the bike path continued to go uphill past the border, only relenting as we approached the lake, where I found the zip line playground that Bowen had played in 4 years ago while I desperately searched for lodging. The kids played there for a good half hour, and then we kept going on the bike path, which granted gorgeous views of the lakes.

Past Castello del Principe, the bike path started flashing warning signs of 20% grade. I got nervous, because I remembered from our trip 4 years ago that this section was unpaved, so I stopped a few cyclists going the other way and asked if the pavement disappeared. "Actually, it gets better. They built or rebuilt this section a couple of years back and it's brand new!" With that, I sighed a sigh of relief and took the bike path as quickly as I dared, stopping occasionally to check the brakes.
In Laatsch, the bike path joined up with the bike path from Santa Maria/Val Mustair, and I saw at the intersection two girls sharing one bike. 
We rolled past Glorenza. Xiaoqin remarked: "I can see why Bowen kept talking about this place. It's beautiful." "This isn't even the pretty part yet," I remarked. The pollen or cut grass int he air got into both Bowen and Boen's eyes, however, and they complained about itchiness. So as we pulled into Prato Allo Stelvio I was relieved to see that there was a pharmacy open, and pulled into it to buy them some allergy medication. They sold us both tablets and eye drops. We would later read up on the tablets that turned out to be some homeopathic medicine that was basically a placebo, but the eye drops would turn out to be effective though getting it into their eyes was such an effort that after this I never tried again!

In town, we bought food at the grocery shop while Xiaoqin opted for a local pizza place. We found the same zipline playground that Bowen had played in 4 years ago to console himself for not doing Stelvio, ate everything we bought, and then I planted all the panniers into Xiaoqin's ebike and proceeded to ride up to Gomagoi.

Going from the triplet to the ebike is like going from a pedal powered bicycle to a Ferrari. Just a little tap on the pedals and the bike would accelerate. I knew it was a 4 mile trip each way, and the battery was more than half full, so I turned the power all the way up and enjoyed an easy cruise up the valley to the hotel. The proprietress saw me, and assumed I was going to keep going up the mountain, but I said I was just leaving the bags here and am going back to fetch my wife and kids.
By the time I got back to the playground it was 1:00pm, and the afternoon had heated up in earnest. The 4.4 miles to the hotel from the playground was much easier on an unloaded triplet than it would have been while carrying luggage, but in the heat and at low speed it was still very hard. My cycling cap was soaked through at mile 2, and it was a testament to the quality of the Walz caps that while sweat was dripping off the brim, they never got into my eyes or made me uncomfortable.

Even Xiaoqin felt the heat, and the kids were definitely shocked by how hot it was. By the time we got to Gomagoi at 3pm we were all cooked and ready to call it a day. I was very glad that while planning the trip I couldn't get any lodging at the next town up, Trafoi. It might only have been an additional 2-3km, but it would have been killer in the afternoon heat.

Bowen drank tons of water at dinner, and nobody would hear of even doing a hike at 8pm when everything was cooler. I realized then that it would take too long to deliver the luggage the next day and waiting for the day to heat up would be fatal, and so suggested to Xiaoqin that she just ride the bike up with all the luggage. "It's so easy it should be doable, and the road isn't challenging on an ebike." She thought about it and agreed.

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