Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Day 10 (91 miles)

Packing up tent in the rain is never fun. Packing up a tent in full on heavy Alp rain absolutely sucks. After this rather depressing start to the day things improved a fair bit. Fred set off early to go all the way back to Andermatt to try and fix his bike. Yes, it is really taking this long! From there he got passed from pillar to post by various bike shops, until he arrived at a specific Specalized Bike shop. Where they kindly fitted him with a brand new very fancy carbon fibre derailer. Yay!!!! Fingers crossed that is the end of that set of problems. He then met up with Jack and Arch just after Olten, about 2 pm.

While Fred had been busying himself sorting out he bike, Jack and Arch had been cracking on a pounding out some serious miles. Despite an incredibly wet morning, our feet got so wet that they are still pretty shrivelled and disgusting, it did eventually clear. This allowed us to get some fantastic final views of the Alpine scenery, which was just spectacular. Descending down into the foothills did make the landscape look a little boring in comparison. It was very much the case of sitting on the bike and just getting on with the business in hand, which was at times pretty dull. But in the knowledge that today was 90 + miles, we had to get a shift on and try to go as fast as we could.

Jack and Fred then carried on the cycling in the afternoon, with a good set of downhills after a relatively tough climb. We all arrived safely and in good time to the campsite, just south of Basel

It has fallen to me, Freddie, to be given the honour and the privilege to write the eulogy for our crusade through Switzerland. This country has amazed me in every way. When we made the cross from madness to magnificent, from Italy to Switzerland you could feel excitement vent from the car. Our experience in Italy was a memorable one and found one at that. However there were certain areas that Switzerland just knocks it out the park. The main and arguably the most important one are the roads. The Italian construction workers have a lot on their hands because to be frank, their roads are shit! Switzerland however oozes efficiently and excellence. I can think of not a single time where I felt the road surface was a hindrance to me but I can think of many an occasion where its brilliance was confortable and satisfying to peddle away on.

What I think I will remember the most about our short episode here are the views. Whether cruising along in our trusty steed, Hearsey, or pushing through the pain on the bike, the views were elaborate, enchanting and a pleasure to behold which ever way you turned. I have snapped up many a photo that will take me back to this wonderland and hopefully be able to bring back some of that magic that surged through my veins whenever I looked up and around me.

You have given me one of the most memorable days of my life, with climbing up to 2144m and for that, I thank you. Switzerland, it has been a pleasure and until next time, for which I can guarantee there will be, goodbye.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry the comments have dried up, but it was tricky enough to read the print on the iphone as we shot along the A 74 which was the only place we could get a signal, let alone type something!
    What a couple of days you have had. An amazing effort and achievement to do the climbs, I stand back aghast when I look at the bends, me who cannot even make Fullerton Hill! Each of you deserve particular praise, Freddie for doing it on a bike that I guess was too small, Jack in the after stages of a cold and for taking a tougher longer route, and Archie for quite insanely doing it twice?!
    Clearly physical tasks will never daunt you, just paying and transporting shopping! Switzerland must have a jinx on the bank cards, very annoying for the residents of Basel and you too.
    Hope the legs are not too weary and you have refuelled well.
    Great to read the blog and catch up with the news, The Hamiltons