Venzona - Munich to Paris the Long Way Round - CycleBlaze

August 3, 2019

Venzona

Probably the best days cycling we have ever had

We were reminded that we were in Italy when we went down to breakfast.  I find cake for breakfast a bit hard to take and the coffees were tiny espressos very strong.  It would keep me going for the day though.

Unlike yesterday the sun was shining and there was no hint that rain would be in the offing.  It was straight onto the wonderful cycle track and we were to follow this nearly all day.  This is an unbelievable track with its supper smooth surface, rarely did we have to pedal. The valleys Valcanale and Canal del Fero mark the transition point between the Julian Alps and the Carnic Alps.  The bike path follows the route of the old Pontebbana railway.  There are artistic bridges, spectacular mountains and 27 tunnels as you glide along.  At places you are able to leave the route and go down to small hamlets with inticing advertisements for coffee and food but in no way are you tempted as even though you would probably go less than a km your return to the Radweg would be at least 25%.

On our way
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Train stations
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Bridge over the river
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At the slightly bigger hamlet of Pontebba you have no option you have to come down as there are 2 closed tunnels.  We found ourselves in a market square and sat there people watching and listening to the characteristic chatter of Italian while we drank our Cappuccini.  The push up to join the route took all our strength and we were soon sailing along with all the many others.  All along the way there are disused railway stations but at Chiusaforte one of them had been turned into a delightful cafe (it rather reminded me of the one on the Hauraki rail trail on the way to Waihi).  It was impossible for any cyclists to pass it and crowds of us sat around eating, drinking and chatting.

Coffee time
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Suzanne GibsonWe stayed overnight in Chiusaforte - lovely!
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2 weeks ago
That was hard work
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Suzanne GibsonI don't remember that!
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2 weeks ago
Kathleen ClassenThese are certainly designed for carbon fibre road bikes, not loaded touring bikes, aren’t they! Sometimes we have had to team up and Keith pushes while I pull.
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2 weeks ago
Tricia GrahamTo Kathleen ClassenWell that is what had to happen Kathleen!
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2 weeks ago
Their daughter went to school in Alexandra (NZ) for a year
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Jan HaywardI wonder if it was Dunstan High? I hope you told them your old friend was a first day teacher?
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1 week ago
Tricia GrahamTo Jan HaywardProbably was anyway there daughter-in-law absolu loved her time there and has since been back to visit and even she was there the parents went over for a holiday
Love p and k
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1 week ago
Tunnels, tunnels, tunnels
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Approaching the cafe
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Who could resist stopping
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This superhighway ends across from Maggie Udinese though there are plans to extend it further. At the end was a man full of information and extremely keen to get us to go up to see the abbey and the other delights.  He also was keen we should take the route away from the road but it is unsealed and rather sandy so we were not tempted and stuck to the road

Ten kilometres later we were riding into the double walled hamlet of Venzona.  This village was almost completely destroyed by earthquake in 1976 killing 47 people.  It has been rebuilt stone by stone and when you are in the centre of this beautiful village it is almost impossible to believe that what you are seeing is not the original. We were early for  our check in so sat in the square, Ken drinking beer and me apple juice as we talked to the other cyclists.  Our Band B which is just a little out of town is delightful and probably the cleanest place I have ever been to.

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Ken somehow liked this derelict railcar
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An Ape - one of Ken’s favourite vehicles
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In Vendoza
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The walls of Vendoza
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Vendoza ‘suburbs’
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Today's ride: 51 km (32 miles)
Total: 486 km (302 miles)

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Jack WatsonI was away for a few days, and on return taken up with Marie and Robert, so it was only today that I caught up with your lovely travels.
You seem to be having the best time ever!
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2 weeks ago
Tricia GrahamTo Jack WatsonWe read this sitting looking over some corn fields and eating our lunch. We are so very fortunate. Hope things are relatively calm for you at the moment
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2 weeks ago