Monday, October 31, 2016

Biotopo Magredi

A short ride down the flat road through San Quirino to Cordenons, then east toward Zoppolo.  Before I got there I turned north onto a gravel road, too-deep gravel at times.  Eventually reached a nature preserve called Biotopo Magredi with a display of photos of the many species of birds, mammals, reptiles and butterflies living there.  BTW  the Magredi is a huge alluvial fan of the Cellina and Meduno Rivers.  It's gravely with big floods in Spring so mostly uninhabited.  But many animals prefer this habitat so now they are protected in preserves.  I found out on the return it would have been easier to reach the preserve on the smooth strade bianca directly from San Quarino.

A good link:
Biotopo Magredi di San Quirino (Italy): Top Tips Before You Go ...

Deep gravel road

Beautiful preserved prarie

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Colle Umberto

I pass by the turnoff for Colle Umberto often but rarely visit.  A shame because it's a lovely place.  Today I rode Fedaia down there and got a few photos.  This a ride for everyone, not too steep, with marked cycle routes showing you the way.  If you visit Conegliano or Vittorio Veneto check it out.

Chiesa di San Martino

Campanile di San Martino

Restored palazzo

Campanile by municipio



Prosecco vineyards with Col Visentin
and Monte Pizzoc in background
Another view of castello

Municipio campanile  from the descent

Memorial to Ottavio Bottecchia, greatest ever
Friulian cyclist.  He was born in Pinidello,
frazione di Colle Umberto  

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Canal di Cuna

Finally done with vacation and back on my bike.  I rode Maxima up Valmeduna to Tramonti di Mezzo and started up the beautiful lane toward Canal di Cuna.  The road follows the gorge of Torrente Chiarchia to Pie' di Spineit, then shoots upward.  It's very steep with fallen leaves, drainage channels and broken pavement to complicate matters.  Needless to say I love this road.  At Selva Plana pavement ends but I was able to continue without much trouble with 28mm tires.  Finally the road ends at a tiny abandoned village of stone houses.  You can hike from here down to San Vincenzo, a restored church, and even onward to San Francesco in Val d'Arzino.  I think I will try that hike from the other end.  Also another track marked Malga Rossa, which I think is above Pielungo.

The ride down is very painstaking but I made it unscathed.  I rode home very tired: my good form has been lost in only one month.  But I'll try to gradually rebuild to avoid injury- maybe in a month or two I'll be good as new.

The lovely mountains to the west

I think this is Valcalda, not sure

In the shadows at bottom you can see Torrente Chiarchia's
churning white water

The climb

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Monte Vesuvius Hike

Marilyn, the dogs and I started the Monte Vesuvio hike after parking at end of public road around 850 meters.  We then walked along the limited access road used by tour buses and taxis, not at all crowded on this off-season morning (more about this later).  The paved road ends at 950 meters and becomes a wide cinder track path, very well constructed, which it needs to be given the volume of foot traffic.   Around 1150 meters you reach the crater rim and continue on around.  Great views of the caldera, Sorrento, Capri and even a a glimpse of Pozzuoli and Ischia to the northwest.  Quite a few fumaroles venting today.

This is a road bikeable climb up to end of pavement which I'll return and try someday.  The one caveat when hiking is the tour bus traffic in the afternoon: very heavy even in off-season and quite unpleasant when they corner too close at speed.  A separate walking path is needed from parking to end of pavement.   

View from the rim

Lovely fumarole

Sorrento and Capri

The caldera

Monday, October 10, 2016

Convento Sant'Angelo

This is a short hike but has some lovely views.  It starts in the extinct volcano crater where we stayed in Pozzuoli, now used by Italian Army and US Navy as a recreation area.  There's a golf course, football, softball and soccer fields, swimming pool, and camp sites.  The crater rim isolates it from the traffic noise etc of  Napoli, so it seems like a kind of island oasis.

The hike ascends the steep crater wall in a series of long switchbacks, finally arriving at Convento Sant'Angelo around 300 meters.  There's a dirt road up the external side of the crater from Quarto (to the north).  A few cars were parked there and people were visiting the convent but it was otherwise locked up.  Along the walk are some great views outside the crater of the sea and surroundings.  Be sure to check yourself for ticks after hiking here, they were abundant even in October.  

Note:  I apologize for the foreshortened GPS track, the Garmin hadn't been recharged and died.  The hike should be around 6 or 7 km.

Umbrella pines in the morning

Convento Sant'Angelo

Lago d'Averno foreground, Ischia in the distance

Capo di Miseno

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Monte Faito Hike

We took a vacation to Napoli for a few weeks.  I was lucky to find a tour up the spine of the Sorrento Peninsula on Monti Lattari.  The driver ascended a narrow, twisty, steep lane to the trailhead at Pian del Pero.  The transition from sunny shoreline at Sorrento to a misty cool, beech forest was very abrupt.  We began ascending gradually on a CAI trail until we approached the top of Monte Faito and its capstone, the Molare monoliths at 1400 meters, large sheer cubes readily recognizable from Vesuvio and and everywhere else in the area.  From here we made a beautiful descent along the Positano side of the peninsula following a horseshoe-shaped canyon.

I'll add the bike climb up Monte Faito to my bucket list, as our guide Gianna mentioned she had led tours of both mountain bikers and road bikers up the climb with very fast curvy descents.   

Le Molare 1400 meters

View from summit toward Li Galli near Positano

Along the crest of Sorrento Peninsula toward Capri

The canyon toward Le Molare