Sunday, June 22, 2014

Valli del Torre - Soča River Loop

I drove to Nimis (200 m), parked the car, and began pedaling up Val Cornappo.  After a couple of kilometers I took a left toward Ramandolo.  Very quickly the road begins snaking through vineyards at a steady 7-9%: it would be wise to do a longer warmup.  The gradient finally flattens at Chialminis (660 meters) and I descended stepwise to Villanova, Lusevera, and Vedronza (310 m).

Here you begin a very gradual easy climb up Valli del Torre, then head east to Passo Tanamea (839 m).  Very fun descent with fast chicanes along Rio Bianco and Torrente Uccea to the bridge on the Slovenian border (540 m).  Another climb out, this time to 700 meters, followed by fast descent to Žaga (330 m).  This is the main road along the Soča River, so quite busy on a Sunday with motorcyclists, vans hauling trailers full of rafts and kayaks etc.  Beautiful views of the surrounding mountains, though overcast and hazy.

At Kobarid I turned away from the river and headed west toward Val Natisone.  Shortly afterward, I turned right toward Breginj.  Very peaceful easy climb: I could hear the chorus from the church at Cred- very different harmonies than I'm used to hearing in the US.  The road heads north on the flank of Stol, a tall long ridge separating the area from the Soča River.  After Breginj at 608 meters you head steeply down toward the Natisone on a very rough road.

Crossing the bridge at 381 meters you start the last climb.  First you reach Platischis (625 m), then Passo Sant'Antonio (758 m), afterwards dropping down to Campo di Bonis and reascending to Taipana (739 m).  Long fast descent  to the Cornappo and then to Nemis.

Good workout- now I'm exhausted.

Ramandolo vineyards

View from Villanova

Torrente Torre toward Monte Musi

Torrente Torre toward Tarcento

Wild valley of Učja River  

Mountains above Žaga

Mountains northwest of Žaga

Breginj church

Natisone River flowing south

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