Friday, September 6, 2013

Planina Kamenica - Lig

Today a ride of exploration along the  Judrio River, which forms the border with Slovenia from near Drenchia/Kolovrat down past Castelmonte to Albana south of Cividale.  I  parked at Ponte San Quirino and warmed up the road bike on the gentle climb up Val Erbezzo past Merso di Sopra.  Soon you enter the dense forest typical of this area east of Val Natisone and begin climbing to Stregna.  From here you continue more steeply to Tribil Inferiore and then finally reach a lovely ridge with several grass-covered plains.  The most striking was Planina Kamenica at 668 meters- I would love to bring Marilyn and the dogs here for a picnic and a hike.

Now a road intersects from the left: it descends the mountainside to the Judrio River, switchbacking crazily and steeply back and forth.  I weaved down to the river at Britof, crossed into Slovenia and began the climb to Lig, a 400 meter elevation gain averaging 8.2%.  Beautiful views here of the Italian ridge above the river, Monte Matajur to the northeast, and even the plain around Cividale.  My plan was to do a couple of more climbs but I was beat.  So I rode a little ways down toward Kanal to see the view of Soča valley, but turned around before the main descent.  I  retraced my route back to Judrio River, but had to find an easier climb back into Italy (someday I'd like to return and try to climb up the twisty road above Britof, but I was knackered today).   So I followed the river to Podresca and turned toward Castelmonte.  This is an easier-feeling climb because the grade is very regular but still a good workout if you're tired, with 427 meters of elevation gain at 8.7%.   Then at the 3-way intersection below Castelmonte I turned toward Altana and San Leonardo.  This was a fun, beautiful descent.  At an area covered with apple orchards, plums etc a teenage guy carrying a wicker basket of fruit was ascending this steep road on a unicycle.  Sounds made up but no, I saw it.  He laughed when he saw the wide-eyed look on my face.

I reached the car just in time to head to Vogrig bakery in Cividale before closing.  Marilyn is very fond of their plumcakes and gubana, a local speciality.  I'll have to return another day to try the climb from Ročinj on Soča River to Lig and the other climbing I planned for today.

Planina Kamenica above Tribil Inferiore

Kamenica: band of  amber grain backed by Matajur 

A little bowl-shaped feature in rolling Kamenica fields

Italian ridge above Idrija River, Cividale plain in distance

Close up of hillside village Berda

Monte Matajur looming above the ridge

Soča valley viewed from above Kanal

Castelmonte pilgrimage sanctuary from end of the climb from Podresca  

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