Belluno – Rifugio 7` Alpini. Thunderstorms.

​Day 7. It’s Sunday and we take it slowly. I only have to hike about 5-6h and Claudia is taking a break anyway today. The B&B cares well for us. Not only could we wash our clothes in the washing machine yesterday for free and got invited to Schnapps and nice stories, we also get a German breakfast with omelet, yoghurt, muesli,…. The woman has lived in Germany and was married a couple of years to a germ which explains her good German. Her kindness makes us overlook the rather dirty bathroom and the fact that she smokes inside. I have almost forgotten to mention the two dogs, the cat and the hamster we are sharing the apartment with! 

Past nine am I am starting to hike, first through a few small towns, right into the dark clouds. And 45minutes after I started, I already have to find a shelter from the thunderstorm. Half an hour later the rain is still heavy but no more thunder, so I continue in my rain clothes. Some more road hiking while the sun comes out again, until I get to a restaurant where plenty Italians are trying to dry their stuff. Just a toilet break for me, I am keen to continue to the hut to be safe from the weather. I am still thinking better today this bad weather than tomorrow but it feels as if this might take a couple of days to get really better. After the restaurant is a parking behind which the mountain trails are starting.  It’s a very nice trail and soon I get to see the beautiful Dolomites!  Wow, mountains I am so happy to be back! Plenty of Italians are coming down from the mountains and everyone is asking how far to the parking.  (It’s not even noon yet so I am wondering why they are so keen to know!). 

After the sun, the thunderstorm comes back and I find a place that provides at least a little shelter and have lunch. Then suddenly it’s getting really dark and foggy. A bit scary but I feel rather safe here. 

Suddenly it gets very dark and foggy and pretty much scary for me.

After about an hour I decide to continue. It’s raining heavily and soon everything feels soaked despite my raining gear. It still is beautiful though, the river, the mountains, the clouds and the many salamanders. 

Suddenly I am already at the hut. It’s about 3.30pm and I am invited to dry my clothes and myself at the fire. Luckily, as even in my backpack my stuff got wet including my sleeping bag. An hour later four people arrive. They have taken the via ferrata despite the thunderstorm! They found shelter at the biwack up the Schiara for the first thunderstorm but for the second just some kind of cave. Soon the whole place is stuffed with clothes to dry and we spend a great evening chatting about the trail and other hikes. It’s so great to be back in the mountains. Finally the sun comes out and it’s time for me to take some pictures. 

The 7′ Rifugio Alpini 

I am lucky again as I was put in a room just for myself… The three levels bed would have scared me otherwise! Not sure how to sleep here. 
In my bed I just hope that tomorrow morning the sun will be out. Two Swiss will be doing the ferrata as well so  I could go with them, they are very experienced.

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