Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Hiking in Tessin Day 3: The walk down to Bellinzona

As expected at an Italian hut, breakfast wasn't particularly good, but we took what we got and were underway by 8:15. Once back up at the pass we contoured along the valley wall, enjoying great views across to yesterday's ridge and practicing our geology ("is this granite or gneiss?"). At a saddle we get a view across the Swiss side of the ridge, which is very attractive indeed. Finally we hit a saddle where the path turns down the other side to head down to the Cap. Gesero. Andrea really doesn't want to leave the ridge, so we choose to stay up top and go, mostly cross country, that way until it hits the path coming from the hut that crosses the ridge again. This ends up being a fun path-finding exercise, tramping through very wet high grass, trying to avoid bumping into electric fences, etc.

We are both ready to be back on a normal path by the time we hit the bowl where we rejoin the trail. As we cross we spook a fox, who crosses the bowl to run up the other side. That's our second fox this year. Very cool!

Back on the trail we follow the ridge, past the rocks and old shelter at the Sasso Guida,  slowly descending until we come to the picnic table and cross at the Monti di Ravecchia. What a perfect place to have a lunch break and enjoy the views down to Bellinzona and along the valley in both directions. After lunch it's into the woods and down, down, down along a great path through woods. The last hour is on an old mule path which would probably be very welcome on a muddy day but which is pretty hard on the feet. The asphalt when we hit Bellinzona is almost welcome. Our timing is great: we have just enough time to grab something cool to drink before the train back to Basel leaves. It would have been better, of course, if the normal train had been running the route and we weren't stuck in an old thing without air conditioning, but you can't have everything...

A nice day to wrap up a nice trip.

The track:

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