Brenta, the second day ~ Romancing Italy
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Sep 1, 2006

Brenta, the second day

9/1/06 Brenta Dolomites Part 2
9/1/06 Brenta Dolomites Part 2 magnify

September 1, 2006

The Via Ferrate: Brenta Dolomites

This getting up very early in the morning is getting old; especially after a very bad night’s sleep. It’s seven but worth getting up to see the sunrise on the granite tops. Nature really is amazing.

Some of the photos in the album on the second day of the trek show what the path looks like from the refugio. Psychologically, I was ready for it, as I previewed the distance and the gradient. Physically, I was back to the “I can, I can, I can” with each step. I think I doubled my lung capacity and I could only imagine that I’d be superwoman by the time I went back down to sea level.

Delio, on the other hand, smoked like a chimney and probably took years off my life.

The Beginning:

Alimonta to the via ferrate. The first ladder was un-nerving; I didn’t look anywhere but the rung in hand. Once I was on the ledge I was okay. There were some places where the snow was still melting and icicles hung above the iron rope. It was an experience for me to walk paths that were created for soldiers of the Great War. I just can’t imagine it with a military pack and weapons hanging off your shoulder!

I absolutely loved this trek. It was exhilarating, peaceful, challenging and scary at the ladders (there’s nothing but a rung at your feet, body in mid-air!!!). Delio kept saying, “Stand up and lean back to look for your next step down.”

“Oh yeah, riiiight” But I know that makes sense to climbers. It just doesn’t come naturally.

The Middle:

Taking a snack break. My legs were already starting to complain about the different exercises I’d put them through climbing down from the ledge. I can understand why climbers have great bodies. And speaking of such, as I munched on my Snickers, down the rope came that group of heavenly bodies. One in the group stops and asks his friend something. “Qpe wvne vro oha wnvmc?” Incredulous gibberish was the reply.

There’s a chuckle or two and a snapshot is taken. More shuffling. I’m trying to not notice because I’m slouched against the rock in the background and don’t want to intrude on the photo. Suddenly, there’s feet in my view and I look up to see a man bending over asking me something about a photo. I think he wants me to take the photo of the two of them. “Great! Sexy and gay” Surprise, surprise – he wants a photo with me. (That would be him in the orange shirt starting the run down the slope.) Notice, he is the “runt” of the group – no tall, dark, chiseled man-god for me but nevertheless, good-looking, and he made my day; even if he just said thanks and disappeared without another word.

My imagination conjured up wild stories I figured he’d be telling his friends back home. Or maybe he’d got wind of that lie Delio left hanging around at the refugio. He never set them straight.

I saw Mr. Orange at the refugio where we had lunch. He came over to show me the photo and we instantly fell into each others arms and passionately kissed. No, sorry, wrong version. We instantly realized we couldn’t understand a word the other was saying. But I at least got a photo to bring back with me so, as you can see, live in an imaginary world. By the way, his two friends are in the background grinning from ear to ear…they weren’t quiet about it either.

The End:

This couldn’t come fast enough. I didn’t know going downhill could hurt so much. But what goes up must come down and it was the same grueling distance. Suddenly I wanted to be going up-hill! It belabors the point when I say that I was dismayed when around every corner, there were yet more stairs or rocks to climb down. I think a slope alone would have been easier, but nope…

Today, I feel I have newly developed leg muscles and my butt has risen three inches, but I dare not use any of them.

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