Gotthard Pass to Correco
Instead of the car noise, I fell asleep to the calming sound of a nearby stream. Albeit not warm, the night is not as chilly as expected and overall I had a decent sleep.
Gisela is already boiling water for her morning tea or coffee when I find my way out of the tent at 05:15. As usual, I skip breakfast, pack my tent and get ready to hit the trail. Now it's time to way goodbye to Klaus and Gisela. It's been a wonderful couple of hours with them and I'm still quite impressed how they managed to surprise me!.
More or less along Via Tremola, the old cobblestone road over Gotthard Pass, I steeply descent towards Airolo. My legs feel full of energy and I hardly notice the nearly 1000 vertical meters. One in Airolo, I follow La Strada Alta di Leventina, a continuous up and down, sometimes along roads, sometimes on hiking trails. Some of the quite rough with some exposed parts.
I hiked in the Canton of Ticino many times before and therefore, I am familiar with what to expect. Yet, I always find it interesting, how drastically the look of the villages change, once you are crossing the boundary. Less wooden houses, more houses made out of stone. Narrow alleys and generally a bit of a taste of italianita.
There's a lot to see and hence time passes by rather quickly.
After 45 kilometers I approach the spot I decided to stay. There really aren't any other options as the trail will soon start a steep descent into the valley. And after 1600 vertical meters climbing and 2800 descending I don't feel like walking anymore. Luckily, it's a wonderful, flat, grassy spot, overlooking the Leventina. There are houses behind me, but they seem empty. And even if there is someone around, I don't think they care too much. There's no road going here. Only a hiking trail. Therefore, I don't think they have many people passing through.
I am not really looking forward for tomorrow. There's the mentioned descent, which according to the map and Fredy is steep and rough. Then there's a 20 kilometer walk along the Ticino River. It will be stinking hot down there. Hopefully, there's a place to swim. Also there's the uncertainty if the military shooting ranges are active. I was told they would not be but this might change. A detour would add another day. Not what I am looking for...
Last but not least it most certainly (depending on the military) will be my second to last day in Switzerland. Per default I will have difficulties to keep my hiking spirit up.
But hey, let me worry about these things tomorrow.
There's a beautiful view to enjoy!
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Fredy Koster (Sunday, 17 July 2022 21:46)
Now a mystery is resolved for me. Yesterday there was some talking about an OSM bar! I thought, hey what's this? Now I know. Looks delicious.
George Mills (Monday, 18 July 2022 04:28)
These passes look incredible. Must be difficult to navigate and I see you have to walk on parts of them.. Take care.. almost at the end of Switzerland. All the best for the rest of your track through your country.