Saturday, June 13, 2015

Rifugio Locatelli, the Dolomites, Italy

Llamas grazed near Rifugio Lavaredo.
I'm taking a step back in time and posting about another great, but challenging international hike.  I wish I'd brought hiking poles for this one. We started our hike at Rifugio Auronzo, which is accessible by bus.  It didn't take long to reach Rifugio Lavaredo, but our stop there was brief. As we trudged down a steep incline, I knew we'd eventually be going back uphill, and what an uphill it was.  By the time we reached Rifugio Pian di Cengia, we were starving. I ordered a colorful dumpling platter with spinach-green, cheddar-yellow, and beet-red dumplings. They were fabulous.

Rifugio Pian di Cengi is a Tyrolean hut that serves Austrian food.
A sign outside Rifugio Pian di Cengi shows mountain flowers.
It was freezing cold when we left, but I was still in shorts.  As we made our way to the next hut, snow flurries fell from the dark and cloudy sky.  It was an easy hike to Rifugio Locatelli, which is nestled at the foothills of the Tre Cime rock formation, three immense boulders. By the time we got there, the flurries had become fat flakes, clinging to shoulders and boulders.

The Tre Cime towers over Rifugio Locatelli.
We spent the night in the dorm room, which was the only available lodging.  At that point, it was too dark to keep hiking.  I knew the pill vials on the chair next to my bunk were not a good sign.  Sure enough, I got a bed next to Mr Virus-and-Bacteria.  All night I heard his hacking.  You'd think with a raspy, crackling cough that you might need extra sleep.  Oh no, not this go-getter.  He set his alarm clock unreasonably early.  The following morning we hiked out and passed some really interesting World War I bunkers.

Miniature horses were grazing on the mountainside.
The beauty of this place is that you can access these mountains by hiking them or by taking  numerous lifts to the top.  Here in Connecticut, we hike to a view.  In the Dolomites, there is a new vista around every curve and atop every hill.  While I was there, I carried a Cicerone hiking guidebook (multi-day) in my pack.  They are great books with short walks and long walks in many different locations.   

World War I bunker

In other news, I've updated the "Writing" and "Awards and reviews" sections of this website with some reprinted clips and some recent happy news.