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Old 10-21-2013, 12:54 AM   #16
glitch_oz OP
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Looking into the drooping grey skies, we skip a couple of optional side-trips like the Rosenlaui and Schwarzental valleys which are "no use without the views", BUMMER!!

Particularly the Rosenlaui I'd been looking forward to.

Flippin a coin in Innertkirchen, it's the Susten Pass over the Grimsel. Both will be wet and crappy, the Susten will make us go the long way, needing to add the Furka Pass to get to our intended stay somewhere in the Upper Valais/ Wallis/ Upper Rhone Valley….whatever you want to call it.

In hindsight, we should've taken the shorter route and gotten things over and done with…but…the longer route had its perks, too.





Goodie tip-toe-ing it up the Susten…






Should've stayed here…






...or at least in the tunnel for a while. Christ!!...is it bucketing down, or what?




















The short stretch towards Andermatt turns off the taps a little... drizzle only.














Then it's up the Furka…and things are turning cold…REAL COLD….it's snowing huge, wet flakes.
4 of them are enough to shut out the dreary grey day….and clog up the visor solidly. How much more height to climb? Any further up and we'll pull the pin, this is getting seriously nasty and dangerous.

The first slush is building and there's been something blinking on the dash for the last 10 min.
I know it's cold! The snot's freezing under the chin-bar and I'm shakin' like a leaf.

Hey, Schweetie…howyadoin'?




Out of the snow-zone again…





Not much happening here today.







Things warm up a bit the further we drop towards Gletsch.






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Old 10-21-2013, 01:03 AM   #17
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Trundling down the road, following the tracks of the cog+rail Matterhorn-Gotthard railways through Obergoms, Ulrichen and some smaller places down-valley, the heavy rain starts in Reckingen again….
Stuff it, it's enough now, time to find a place to stay, a place with a drying room, a ski-cellar, whatever….just some place that's dry and warm and offers a chance to dry our stuff until tomorrow morning, setting us up for a fresh start.

The call goes out to the Park Hotel in Fiesch…and LUCK is with us!!

The only guests in the place….a BIG 10kg dryer AND a drying room….and some bike-friendly hosts…see you at 4!!
Bet your arse, you will!!








Can't slosh through the door quick enough






Goodie can't help it…







All sorted, hot shower, dry gear, no more shivers…and our host turns out the chef, barman, owner, aussie-phile and entertainer-general all in one.






The real boss behind it all






Lots of laughs… which is, what it's all about, right?







They certainly cherish their Aussie-memories!






Tomorrow's options? LOADS of them!!





Who mentioned venison steaks?
Bring it on, boss…bring it on!!





OH YEAH, SURE DO!!!

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Old 10-21-2013, 08:18 AM   #18
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Quote:
Should've stayed here…
LOL... I have said that more than a few times myself!
Did I happen to mention it was 75°F and sunny EVERY day in Spain

more pics!
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Old 10-21-2013, 04:19 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g®eg View Post
LOL... I have said that more than a few times myself!
Did I happen to mention it was 75°F and sunny EVERY day in Spain
I think I read that somewhere...but wrote it off as a blatant lie
All that rain that day made the next day all that much sweeter...THAT one turned out a stunner.
Thanks for tagging along, we'll make a ride out of it yet :-)
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Old 10-21-2013, 05:50 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by glitch_oz View Post
I think I read that somewhere...but wrote it off as a blatant lie
All that rain that day made the next day all that much sweeter...THAT one turned out a stunner.
Thanks for tagging along, we'll make a ride out of it yet :-)

no worries
its brilliant mate!
I can almost smell the frozen rain soaked air!
and yes the flashing "it's cold out" no shit!! BMW light is a laugh!
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Old 10-22-2013, 12:18 AM   #21
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no worries
its brilliant mate!
I can almost smell the frozen rain soaked air!
and yes the flashing "it's cold out" no shit!! BMW light is a laugh!
Nice to hear you enjoy.
Some nice stuff coming up, too.
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Old 10-22-2013, 01:39 AM   #22
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Edit: Having started the text before finalizing the pics for this day, I just realized that there's an abnormal number of photos…and GOOD stuff!!…ditching the last 30 or 40 was a bit painful, they really were too good to ditch and easily prime material for a parallel yarn.

There's still over a 100 for the day though…so I'll split the day the way it unfolded on the road.
2 key-loops, 2 major areas. One along the southern fringes of the German-speaking Wallis, the other into the northern French-speaking area of the Valais (same valley, 2 languages from a certain location onward)

_______________________________________________



The 7.30 breakfast roll call can't come around soon enough…but things aren't looking much good out there. The blanket of low cloud has barely lifted an inch since last night.

Just when grabbing the maps to take down to brecky to knock together an alternative route for the day (not that there are a lot of choices being in a strict east-west valley with high mountain-chains to the north and south) another look out the window shows THIS!

And with it comes a big, FAT SMILE!!
If I still know my mountains, we're in for a RIPPER of a day!!






Feet are flying down the stairs and into the breakfast room in a flash.
"Yeah, mate…seen it, too…whaddaya reckon? Any good??"

"Bloody oath, mate!"

Striking the Binn valley off the wishlist, it's first a bit down-valley via the main drag and still under the low, grey cloud, even a little drizzle, to Visp…where centre-town roadwork's prevent access to the Zermatt-turnoff.


Bugger!! Gotta find some way around town, and then try to sneak in through the little back lanes of the outer ring of town.
It works!

10 mins later we're carving south, up the Vispa River on deserted roads.
The odd crack in the clouds is jam-packed with promises….some small blue holes, the mountains white-dusted halfway down into the valleys….if this opens up as it should, we're in for something real special!!







Main valley Visp (A) to Turtman (D) about 14k's….our way via Toerbel and the MoosAlp along the High Balconies… about 70k's. All tight…TIGHT!!..., all twisties, all single-lane!!

Add vistas out of a storybook, the sounds and smells of bell-wearing sheep, goats and cows and you've got yourself a fairy world before the cloud-circus up there adds the heart-tearing light show.

Come along for one cracker of a morning then!!

Starting the climb to Toerbel…Tim doesn't know what he's up for





Andrew setting it up…just as the fog cracks open.





Oh yeah!!





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Old 10-22-2013, 01:40 AM   #23
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ABRACADABRA!!!



Climbing, climbing, climbing







Typical Wallis….dark timbers, balconies and flowers everywhere…the houses seem to be half-built from flowers. Toerbel center-village.






The cobbler





Walkers Paradise? I bet!











The Saas valley…with one hell of a Ski-Circus at the back of it!!


http://www.saas-fee.ch/en/Home







The Matter valley leading to Zermatt, the legendary town at the foot the Matterhorn…and within a stone's throw from the Italian border.


http://www.zermatt.ch/en/index.cfm






Local slate roof…those things must weigh tons!!. Literally!







Local community notice board…Zumba lessons next Friday, yeeha!







A place like this, in a location like that….with public conveniences build halfway into the rocky mountainside….and there's a public defibrillator in the entrance way.


The contrast is just about too much.






Hmmm…that the reason why?






I just love those houses!! Warm, inviting, cozy, snug…cuddly!!





Oh maaaan…I knew it'd turn into a pearler!










Hitting the snow-line…






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Old 10-22-2013, 01:41 AM   #24
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Oh Mama!!









Any more "drama" in that vista and you'll break into tears.
MAGIC, that is!!





































It all seems to be over at the top, the Moosalp…






I guess, you can stretch 25k's only that far but I don't really want to come out of that dream…THAT DREAM:







…but it's pretty nippy…little BMW-electronico hits the wall again.








Just a little bit more of "Fairyland", aye??










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Old 10-22-2013, 01:42 AM   #25
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Another roadworks tries to throw us off-course and detour back into Visp….no way, there's another little backroad into Buerchen, high above the main Wallis valley, and we certainly find that one.













Dropping into the Wallis proper (it's still German-speaking up here!!)







Hitting the valley floor at Turtmann…(where the bakery closed 3 bloody minutes ago for lunch, arhhhh)







….it's time for a top up.





As an Aussie, this makes you gasp...80l for A$180+....ummphmmmm
Still cheaper than France and Italy, though.
And that's where you've gotta give it to the BMJ's...they ARE fuel misers!!






Barely half a kilometer into the French-speaking part of the valley…it's the "Valais" now!!...we tack onto a small group of bikes from an "ecole-de-moto"…a driving school group doing some road time and pulling into a truck-stop-style restaurant for lunch…or that's what it seems to look like.







What a surprise it turns out to be!!
Re-living the morning….













Except Doug…he's got a lost train ticket to suck on.






If you thought that morning tore a few heartstrings…just wait for the afternoon!!

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Old 10-22-2013, 04:24 PM   #26
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The 20k's on main roads should be fairly quick, but development along the valley-floor has created a near-continuous string of towns, settlements, commercial yards, factories, industrial areas etc. over the past few decades…despite the sparse traffic, progress is pretty slow.

Soon the rock and tree studded northern slopes give way to vineyards, with every tiny patch, many barely as big as a loungeroom floor, extensively terraced and planted with even just a handful of vines.

The Rhone river, originating from near the Belvedere Hotel in that hairpin in yesterdays fog on the Furka Pass (scroll back a few pages, Andrew took a shot, I think), is well and truly "tamed" by now, contained in a neat man-made channel past Martigny and into Lake Geneva.

Approaching Sion, the turn-off to Saviese is a ragged affair with multiple turnoffs even on the lead-in to the roundabout, then another roundabout immediately after….roads going everywhere all at once with a forest of signs to match.

Better run a couple of laps of the roundabout to have a good look at the signs. 3 possible turn-offs within a space of 20m and local traffic pushing the group from behind are a bit of a handful.

Climbing northward, through the vineyards above Sion









Looking better…now we're cooking.



















Again we're climbing towards the snow-line and the higher it gets, the more exhilarating the ride and views!!





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Old 10-22-2013, 04:25 PM   #27
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What a ripper of a little road, this is turning from great to MAGNIFICENT!!










OK…snow up top, check.





Oops!!






Get-off-the-bike-and-GAWK-time…no words needed.







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Old 10-22-2013, 04:33 PM   #28
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Entirely out of the blue pops up this gaudy affair….all that seems to be missing is a single guest. I'm sure the place is jumping through the holiday months…now there isn't even a solitary guy on a push-bike around.





Into the snow-zone now…..










Supply shuttle for the hydro-power workers.







Looking across the Valais into the main Alpine Ridge








And up and up we go…










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Old 10-22-2013, 04:35 PM   #29
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More views across the main valley towards Zermatt…Zinalrothorn, Dent Blanche, Dent d'Herens? Who knows, it's just stunning… and humbling.






The last few huts of Transfleuron….and we're still climbing.











Slim pickings.





JACKPOT!!!
















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Old 10-22-2013, 04:41 PM   #30
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Oh man…this should go on forever and ever!!






















End of the road!!






From here it's supposedly "Walkers Only" for the actual crossing through the saddle and descent into Gsteig, a small town in the German-speaking area near Gstaad.








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