How to celebrate the return of a great friend to his hometown? We decided to have some trouble climbing the mountains behind our home.

Stefano is probably the person who had more influence on my bicycle behavior. We are basically the opposite, but every time we go out we had something great to take back.

This time we decided to honor his “welcome back party” on our Prealps with two simple rules: no time, no maps.

Friday morning is a lazy morning so, we left Brescia quite late, and we started to climb the legendary concrete slopes of Valtrompia (if you never been in Valtrompia you should go and try some)…

In less of 5 km we climb 800 m and we discover the beauty of this part of the Prealps, where mountains are sharped and the houses are suspended in a deep beautiful green.

We take a break in Bovegno where we also find a food store. As we are planning to sleep outside, and we need some food! Weather is perfect, not too cold, and we are looking forward to the next climb that will bring us to the shelter we choose for the night.

Unfortunately, the next km are the toughest of the whole ride : ) and as always we are going to reshape our plans. Leaving Bovegno the landscape gradually change and the green give space to the ocher of the alpine paths. We are now riding on the way that bring you to Passo Sette Crocette, and old mule-track, a bumpy road not totally rideable with a gravel bike.

We have to push on the pedals and Stefano is feeling some pain to his knees. He is handling the situation but the situation is getting worst.

Is almost evening and at this altitude temperature fall down really fast also if is early autumn. Our shelter is about 30 km ahead, no official refugee in the middle and the idea to ride / walk with dark is not exiting.

Stefano is really in pain and I can hear the swearing from 500 m. We are almost to the pass, but we have to find out a solution. I remember that on the way to the summit, there is a “Malga” used during the summer for cattle. We rode that track several years ago, and was close, but maybe we can find a safe place where we rest.

Weather is getting cloudy and big clouds are covering the top of the surrounding mountains. Approaching the hut looks close, with no lights inside and the door barred. But there’s no locker and turning the handle the door is open!

Inside nobody, everything is clean, there’s a kitchen, a stove, two beds and looks like the shepherd left the place a couple of days before. Quite incredible…

I go out and I see Stefano waling toward the hut, he is angry, his knee is stuck, and he basically wants to kill me. So I say: “you know what? There is a surprise for you”, Stefano: “What else…” and me, “We have a home!” , Stefano Smile 🙂

Inside we find everything, wood, water, electricity (the hut is equipped with solar panels) and pots. Almost paradise.

In the morning we are super fresh and ready to head the pass. Is like 0° but the sun is shining. The last part of the path is just hiking, so some portage to warm up the muscles, and we reach the other side.

Crossing the pass we find the sun (and other people) and now we ride to the breakfast in Maniva!

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