We awoke long before the revelers of the night before and departed Como heading towards the town of Bellagio. The picturesque town sits at the tip of Lake Como’s peninsula. From there you can catch ferry boats to different points on the lake. Since we were heading northwest to Bormio, we hopped the ferry to Verenna.
During this leg of our travels, we would be exposed to many things for the first time. It was the first time we saw the little white signs with the word “tornante” on them. That’s Italian for a hairpin turn. In my travels here on the Northeast coast, the hairpin turn is like seeing a bear in the wild. Sure, they are out there somewhere but you only see them once in a blue moon.
Your Papers, Please
We also experience our first of many border crossings going from Italy to Switzerland. In my mind I suppose I had built the process up to be something a little more complex than just having a man in uniform wave at me and send me through. I guess I figured there would be some passport stamping or something.
When I pulled up to the first guard booth and stopped, I looked at the guard he gave a lazy wave. I wasn’t sure if he was saying “hi” or sending me through. So in my amazingly awkward and jerky way, I was like “uhhh, am I okay to go?” I couldn’t hear him very well but I think he said “yah.” Seriously, who wants to assume you’re okay to cross a border if you really aren’t? So, I questioned him again by asking “ok?” and gesturing the universal symbol for moving forward. He gave me an exasperated “ok” and then pointedly said “go!” Fine, fine, I’ll go then. Sheesh! I know he must have thought I was a moron. And well, he just might be right. But that’s part of my charm.
When we made our way towards St. Moritz and on to Livigno, the mountains began to show us their amazing grandeur. We cut along the roadway that was carved through the rock, gradually rising above the treeline. It is in these moments that you feel so tiny in the world. The beauty that nature presents to you can be so incredibly humbling.
We were scheduled to meet Pimmie in the town of Bormio. He was riding down from the Netherlands to spend the week riding with us. It had been over a year since we last saw him, so Kenny and I were both bubbling with excitement.
Now we were three.
Kenny and I arrived first at the hotel with enough time to shower and clean ourselves up from the days ride. About an hour later, Pims turned up safely. It was so great to see him again. It felt like no time at all had passed.
We spent the rest of the night getting caught up, laughing, relaxing and planning for the following day’s ride. There was a lot to be excited about. From this point on, we would be flying by the seat of our pants; going wherever the sky looked sunniest and the roads were winding.
We chose to meet in the town of Bormio because it was the foot of one of the most legendary mountain passes and one of my bucket list items – Stelvio. That’s where we were headed the very next morning…