Quite a busy day at work but managed to leave at 3 pm and caught the Gatwick express with John, we checked in quickly at Gatwick as we jumped a big queue. We got to the flying horse and met Andrew and Pash and Kirsten. The flight was a bit delayed so we had an extra beer. But being easyjet we caught up most of the time and were only 15 mins or so late. Bags and customs was quick and we met Denis in the airport. He had organised a small mini van to take us to the hire car place. Kirsten got bitten a couple of times and I lent her my bite cream. We drove then to the hotel which was super posh and had a marina in the middle of it. Unfortunately it took 45 minutes to check in as we had been given double rooms eventually I ended up on a sofa bed. But the boys got ready quickly and although it was 12.30 local time we set off and found a brew pub that did carafes of beer and lots of monkey nuts. We moved outside later and sat by the canal till nearly 2am
We got woken at 8am and I had a very nice shower. We popped down to a sumptuous breakfast with jelly and pana cota. We finally got going close to ten. Unfortunately traffic was not great and we did not get to our destination till nearly 4pm John was berating the lack of power of his car and we struggled to keep up with Denis. However at least we had tunes as I had remembered the mp3 cable. When we got to the start we met the others including Constance and we started just in time for it to start raining. But I did not have the poncho on for long. As it was still quite humid. It had got up to 36 degrees while we were in the car but it was only about 23 when we started. It was mainly uphill though and Pash suffered a bit. We split into a couple of groups and I led myself Andrew and Kirsten to the pues hutte at 2475 metres and we jumped in quickly at 7 pm and ordered beer and food John was in next and I had a beer waiting for him. We had walked about 5 miles and climbed over 700 metres. We all tucked into desert. And then we got shown to our room which had exactly 7 bunks and I had the tallest one up 3 flights.
Pash was up very early and he and me waited a bit before breakfast could be served. I just had a plain breakfast with a couple of small cups of coffee.We set off before 9 and the day in total took nearly 9 hours and covered 13 miles with 1,000 metres of height gain. At first the going was easy but then we met a steep up and I converted into shorts. We got over that and got down to a rather nice lunch stop by some cable cars I had a beer and quickly went to hack a portal. After lunch we set off and almost immediately met some very steep going with via ferrata luckily most of the climb was in the shade and when we got to the top a hut was five minutes away.However I then went back to help Pash get up the via ferrata and didn't get a drink or any food after that stop we were met by quite a bit more via ferrata and quite a lot of sun we we also gaining altitude which made going tricky. We all got to a rest point 20 minutes from the final but but after a while of playing some tunes such as Denis and flash by Queen, I was persuaded to head up the ridge and see if Pash was approaching which he was, so we were all good and we set off for the final hut which was 20mins away. Unfortunately this was uphill at altitude I deserved a beer when I got there . We also met Severine and her boyfriend who had set us off on the first day. We had a very nice 3 course lunch and I had radlers and beer and camomile schnapps which was foul. I stayed up with Andrew who was the last to bed at about 9.45. I read my book and did my diary for a while longer.
I seemed to be awake most of the night but the morning finally came. After breakfast we set off well before 9 and it was a little chilly to start with as we were walking in the shade. I walked with Pash but we all made the first hut which had a pig and a portal just after 9. We had coffee then set off down a zig zagging scree slope for quite a few metres down to a village where some more food and ice creams were purchased. Shortly after we set off we split into two groups. Myself john and Pash took the low road and had a nice trek in the sun to a very busy hut that served us beer then we walked a bit further and descended to the Marmolade town where we found Andrew and had another beer. We had walked for 8 hours and covered 11.5 miles. John and Andrew then went to the war museum while the rest of us sat in the sun. We then walked to the very posh hostel and had a real nice shower we had a nice dinner and some grappa from some small bottles then played uno till lights out.
We all had extra showers and a great breakfast I had 3 coffees with chocolate and cereal. After breakfast we had to wait with bad italian pop music playing for the bus to take us down the hill. We got down the hill and had a coffee and an ice cream and I got a portal hacked. We then set off at quite a fast pace up the hill in some very strong sunshine. The path was excellent and we made good time up the valley and then came to a little farm shop were we stopped for some iced tea and some yoghurt. Then we walked and and came to our refugee for the night about 1pm we had a beer off course and had a lie down in the garden then myself, Kirsten, John, Andrew and Pasch set off for an afternoon upwards. I had far too much energy without my pack and was climbing up lots of the boulders and jumping off them. Eventually we got to a final boulder were Andrew posed for some photos then set off down again. When we got back we played some uno and witnessed a mountain rescue by helicopter off the big cliff before having dinner which was fine and playing more uno. The smell of liniment filled the air.
Up early and great coffee for breakfast. I thought it was going to be a really long warm day and set off slowly but gradually caught John and Kirsten as we slogged up 900 metres the top of which was tricky scree. We had a bit of a wait as Pash had to take his time and we were in some Italian army caves from the 1st world war. When we were reunited we set off down scree and came to a via ferrata section but it was vertical so a no go. We continued on down and me and Pash set the pace and got there first to get the beers in. We had a room to ourselves which was nice and I braved a cold shower. We then all went to a little farm down the road and I attempted to but my feet in the river but it was mortifyingly cold. After a beer at the farm back then to the refugio and a beer and some uno outside before dinner which was scheinscnitzel. Some more uno after dinner and I won the last game with George, Severine and Denis.
Up at a reasonable hour after a good night's sleep and had lots of coffee and cereal for breakfast. We said goodbye to George and Severine and John and Constance who set off down the mountain to get the cars. Our team of myself Denis and Andrew first walked up to a nice hut where we had soft drinks then down the valley stopping for another lemonade half way down. We got to the village but then had a bit of confusion as we tried to meet John and Constance eventually we caught a taxi. The others transferred to the taxi and myself Andrew and Kirsten went to have lunch and found a shop for a present for Pash’s birthday. We then met Denis and went to the shop to book via ferrata. Then we drove the windy road back which didn't do Kirsten much good we found the others with yan in a bar then went back to the apartment for a quick shower before out for pizza . Mine had Curry sauce on it apparently.
Up early at 6am and myself Pash, Kirsten, Andrew and Denis got up and went for an adventure. We got there early and had breakfast then met the guides. Me and Pash went to the trenches the others went to the glacier on the marmalade. Myself and Pash climbed 660 metres with our guide and a Spanish guy and we did some very difficult via ferrata. We were unfortunately caught by the weather and we set off down at speed to avoid the storm. We got down the mountaIn and had a beer and a pizza with the mountain guide and watched a helicopter rescue on the glacier opposite we later learned that this was someone just behind our group. We got a lift back to town then and did some shopping and met the others at the swimming pool cafe. We then went for some gateaux and then drove back a different way to apartments. In the evening we went out to the San Leonardo restaurant again and I had a diavola pizza which again was not to strong. Back then to the apartment and we chatted outside on the balcony for a while annoying the neighbours.
We had a very nice breakfast then drove to a nearby town and caught the cable car up to do a walk from hut to hut. We stopped at a restaurant and had a beer and some pancakes then walked all the way down to do some shopping at sport Tony's and we also took a look at the local beer and food festival which had an oompah band. In the evening we walked down to the badia pub which was very good. I had a dynamite pizza with extra chilli and for dessert an ice cream with pepper and vodka. As the others gradually went to bed myself Andrew and Denis stayed at the bar and worked our way through various grapa, sambuca and rum. We stayed till quite late.
Up and felt a bit rough. I went with Denis to get bread and then after breakfast we set off along the mountain road which was a lot better than the motorway despite some heavy rain showers and an accident. We managed to find my donny ice cream at the service station then headed into Venice. We caught a water bus and went into the centre and wandered round looking at the place and getting a very nice ice cream. We were very Impressed by the huge cruise liners going through the canals. Denis went to see an art exhibition and we caught a small monorail to meet him at the carpark. It was a bit of a rush as Denis' s flight was earlier but it ended up being delayed so we had a beer in the airport. Though not unfortunately with Pash who found out he would be flying back on Monday. The flight was uneventful and I caught the gatwick express back