( or Drystone Walling and the Dolomites )

The Ascent is Slight and the Air is Thin

Day 12. 2 July 2006

Sunday. With every night, I sleep better and better, but I still hear the seven o’clock bells without fail. Today is our second day off (not that we did much work yesterday) and it is clear and bright and just the kind of day to go into the middle of the dolomites. Taking to the rattling Alpago Rugby team ‘rust bucket’ bus we drive down the valley, onto the BIG road and to Belluna – and under Belluna – before driving north into the mountains to Allegne – one of the most important areas in this region for skiing.

From the town on the edge of Lago di Allegne we take a cable car and then a chair lift up 1922 metres to Col dei Baldi where the air is clean, and the alpine meadows are lush and brimming with flowers. From our vantage point in the sky the landscape below has the appearance of a golf course; lush meadows marked out with paths, and the ski-runs through the trees like driving ranges. We have a snack lunch at the mountain chalet of café-latte and pizza before setting off dow to climb up further into the dolomites.

On the easy path down to C. va di Piccia I lose my footing on a water culvet and slide, seemingly in slow motion, down to the left, badly cutting and grazing my shin and forearm…

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