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3000 km Switzerland - Ridereport page 4

Tuesday, 24.07.01, the 8. day:

More often than not, the lower Rhone Valley (Brig to Martigny) is used as a transit-stretch, while one misses all its hidden beauties, which can be found along the terraces high above the valley floor.

Various roads lead above 2000m…our first via Vetroz to the Col du Sanetsch (2251 m) and on to Lake Sanetsch. The narrow road leads through some dark tunnels (which also sprout some rough road-surface), but all of it is more than made up for by the fantastic views into the valleys crowned by the glaciered peaks. The peaks of the  Matterhorn, Grand Combin and many others right across to Mont Blanc are stunning.
There’s also regular bus service to Lake Sanetsch, as usual in Switzerland, the public transport system is exceptional.
A closed-off road continues to Gsteig, the village can be seen from above.
Halfway back into the valley, a small road seemingly leads via Anzère towards Crans Montana, which proved a dead-end though…so we had to take the main road to Crans Montana, one of the well-known “exclusives” for the rich and famous and quite busy with it.

Down towards Sierre, crossing the valley floor before the climb to Zinal, a good road continuing to Grimentz, which showed to be one of those typical, old villages of the region, historic timber-buildings everywhere. Via  St. Jean and Mayous onto another narrow road along the upper galleries of the Rhone Valley to Pinsec, Vercorin, Dailley to Nax, which is the start of the Val d’Herens.
Following the valley, the road climb to above 2000m at Arolla.

Returning, it was past the earth pyramids of Euseigne to the Lake Lac de Dix, at 2365m one of the highest lakes….the 285m high dam wall is the world’s highest !!
IMPRESSIVE…to say the least.

Slowly the day came to an end, the way via Hérémence towards Haute Nendaz, through Riddes and Montagnon got us back to our camp at Grugnay.
What a GREAT day !!

8. Day routing:

Wednesday, 25.07.01, the 9. day:

Transit-day!
Camp broken and all clear for the 9am start, the day’s target is the Tessin area or rather: Lago Maggiore!
Along the valley to Sierre, then north of the Rhone river via Salgesch and Varen to Leuk. And once again we’d crossed the invisible, sudden language-border, this time from French to Swiss-German, Dietmar’s language skills had helped us through, but now we all could understand “the world around us” again.

Uphill to Leukerbad, then dropping via Dorbu and the Dala-Gorge back to Leuk.
Susten, Steg and visp next…tacking south into the Saas and Matter valleys.
Saas Fee proved to be as pretty in summer as what it is in winter, well worth parking the bikes to go for a stroll.
Back down to Stalden, then up the Matter valley to Täsch, skipping the trip to Zermatt, but climbing from Stalden to Törbel and up to the Moosalm, the PERFECT lunch stop 2000m high.
Another small road leads via Zerneggen back to Visp…not far to the Simplonpass (2005 m), using the old pass road via Ried in the lower parts.
The Gondo gorge led us to Domodossola, tacking east via S. Maria Maggiore into the Centovalli (100 valleys) and further into the Tessin-area, starting our search for a camp-spot.
The place was PACKED and we had to continue through the afternoon heat to Locarno !
A long search finally yielded sweet fruits: the camp at Riarena in Cugnasco proved a lucky shot. …HIGHLY recommendable!! Lush grass under shady trees, swimmingpool, not expensive…and German is spoken, despite the “Italian-zoning” of the general area.

9. Day routing:

Thursday, 26.07.01, the 10. day:

Lake Lugano!
What it lacks in size compared to Lago Maggiore and Lake Como it certainly makes up for in scenery.
The maps showed some small roads around the Lake, promising great views.

Across the Passo Monte Ceneri (554 m) towards Lugano then, turning off for a short “sightseer” into the back-country.
Via Tesserete into the Val Colla (Colla Valley), an out-of-the-way area, but with a charm all of it’s own. Via Bidogno and Colla to Pregassona, then the main road to Porlezza.
Getting off the main road right at the end of the lake, small roads lead to Laino and Lanzo d’Intelvi, opening fantastic views onto Lake Lugano…. dream-scenery.

A very scenic, steeply dropping passroad got us back to the shore, then via Melide to Morcote.

Next to Ascona at Lago Maggiore (which was on the cards for the next day), Morcote is simply one of the prettiest towns I’ve ever seen.

The whole atmosphere, the narrow laneways…it just begs to spent some time around the place.
After a longer break it was up the hills again to Vico Morcote and Carona, followed by Agno and Morte of the back-country.
A brilliant bike road leads from here via Iseo, Breno, Miglieglia and Novaggio to Biogno, not far from the main road to Lago Maggiore.

Hitting the shores at Luino, it’s up the road to Maccagno….and once more up those mountains to the Alpe di Neggia (1395 m). Past the town, the road sweeps  uphill in delicious sweepers, garnished once more with superb views. Once up in the high valley, there are even better views of the other side. Once past the top, he road drops steeply with more than 20 hairpins back to Lago Maggiore. It wasn’t far to our camp now…and time to call it a day.
Get some dinner going…..then mentally ride the whole loop once more.

10. Day routing:

Get out on page 5 of the report


Unterkunftsempfehlung:
Hotel Schwarzer Adler (Tannheim)

Italien: Hotel Cristallo (Levico Terme)