Back home

I’m back home

But can’t settle

Miss the rumbling wheels beneath me

Melbourne still a touch too cold

So headed north

The warm arms of the north were beckoning me

To reach the humid warmth of the sub tropics

In northern NSW

Gibraltar ranges

The rolling curves of the mountains

Ebor falls

The water flowing through moist valleys

Emerald beach

And smooth flow of the sandy beach, the water warm and welcoming.

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London was calling

On the train from the midlands to London. I listened to The Clash, London Calling.

Its both a distopian and resilient view of London. It seemed fitting as a bombing in the tube had set a sombre tone.

But London is London no matter.

Despite the confrontation London open day was in full swing as was Thames week.

And it gave a sometime mariner like me.

These 10 Thames barges had sailed up the river.

And were using their motors against the ebb tide to hold formation still in the water. Such seamanship.

And really that us something special about the English is their way with the sea and boats.

Be it Drake’s Golden Hind

Replica Golden Hind

Or the uniquely English narrow boats that carried goods and produce from the midlands to London prior to rail

Narrow boat exits a Loch on the 

Grand Union Canal.

And now provide floating pleasure.

So I did go to London! 

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Last stop in Switzerland for this trip

From Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald you can see the Aletsch Glacier. Running over the mountains. 

View of Aletsch Glacier from Lauterbrunnen

And Grindelwald

But, in time, it may be lost a sad loss both in beauty and the impact on the Alps.

North of Interlaken the valley runs north to the Jungfrau region and the Glacier.

Past lakes

And beautiful waterfalls

In Grindelwald

In Lauterbrunnen

But in time as the Glacier melts the villages, the lakes, the waterfalls will in turn be reshaped. 

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Stelvio

A carnival atop the Stelvio Pass

Its the big daddy of the Alps

Stelvio

2760 metres high

From Lake Como four passes to reach the top

Maloja pass through to Saint Moritz 

Then climb the Ofen Pass

View from the Ofen Pass

And onto Santa Maria at the foot of Stelvio

Hotel Stelvio in Santa Maria

Then the climb on the Umblia pass

View from cafe on the Umblia pass

Bikes and cars making the climb

Higher and higher

Till the top

Looking down the valley

Across at the glacier

Standing atop the Stelvio Pass

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Lago di Como (Lario) 

The brochure called it the lake of dreams.

View over Lake Como from the Somana galleries above Mandello De Lario

But it’s a lake of life and vitality. 

From the tourist towns like Bellagio 

Bellagio from Lake Como

The narrow streets of the villages full of smells of fine food, chatter and laughter

Village steps

And beautiful villages that held forged dreams that became Italian classics.

View of Mandello de Lario

Like Carlo Guzzi’s dream for an industry for his village

So if Lake Como is a village of dreams it’s also the essence of Italian love and lust for live, beauty and exuberance. 

Village lights and moon over Lake Como


 The piecemealadventurer Mandello de Lario where dreams do come true. 

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Maloja Pass Mudslide

The Alps are a beautiful but precipitous place.

 The mudslide is a reminder of the both the beauty and power of nature.

Albula Pass

Shifting rocks above the Pass

It takes my thoughts drift back to the indigenous Australians and their relationship to land. 

No deity in the heavens it’s is the land that nurtures and provides. It’s the land that has wrath. 

Story of land

So as I sit in the Vezere a place where humanity survived the ice age. I can reflect on the power of nature. 

Humanity may try to destroy itself through nuclear war or climate change or our greed and averice nature will continue. 

My heart goes out to those who lost lives and property in the beautiful Swiss Italian border country. 

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Roads to Lago di Como

I want to thank the countries of Europe for boring tunnels and building motorways so there is less traffic on the beautiful mountain passes. 

The piecemealadventurer atop Stelvio Pass

Riding the passes of Austria, Switzerland, and Italy to Lake Como was sublime. 

Emerging from a congested Fern Pass and then onto Reschen Pass the traffic eased, the pace quickened and the dance of a motorbike carving the curves of a mountain road took form. 

Lake Reschen at the top of the Pass

Looking down Reschen Pass the road in the gallery clinging to the cliff face

The old fort that guarded the Austrian Emporer (a Habsburg) from the unruly Italians

The Reschen Pass links straight to the bottom pass of the Stelvio. On a run through to Bormio. 

The Umbrail Pass is just below Stelvio and with the weather closing in Stelvio was for another day. 

On Umbrail Pass

With Bormio the objective before too much rain fell. 

Rain over Bormio

From Bormio to Lake Como there is a tunnel or Passo Gavia. One on the highest roads in the Alps. 

War memorial Passo Gavia

Atop Passo Gavia

The last miles to Lake Como is small villages that link together as one and tunnels. Pushing hard to get to the booked room before dark. The GPS suddenly announced that in 500 metres I would reach my destination. In the middle of the tunnel! I was 100 or so metres below there I was to stay. A lesson in making sure I enter a detailed and accurate address lol. 

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