…has been immense! I am so glad I took the lake trip because I needed all the time and energy I had for the big climb!
A group of school children arrived on the boat about half way across, so it was fun giving them some English practice and seeing how impressed they were with my trip!
The first stretch from Fleulen was pretty much flat. As Andrew (www.eurovelo5.com) pointed out when he did this bit, much of the cycling in Switzerland has been flat, because they seem to congregate along the rivers. That is, until you get to the mountains. It also means that most of the climbing is saved till the last 6kms! As I approached, though, the surrounding mountains became very imposing, almost threatening, as if they were warning me not to go on! Although, even 10kms away from Andermatt I was starting to think it wasn’t so bad after all- then the switchbacks kicked in. As I say it was 500m up in the first 30km and then the last 500m up in the last 5km!
I stopped to take lots of photos. To those passing it may have looked as though I was taking lots of rests! It was very impressive to see the river, the railway, the motorway and my little road winding up the mountain crisscrossing each other.
It was also very nice to be encouraged by people as I climbed. I stopped in one lay by and a family, who had also stopped, insisted on giving me a sandwich. They were on a 10hr journey from Rome to Nancy. Then just about at the top a coach had pulled over for a particularly good view, having passed me earlier, and they insisted on giving me a beer! It went down a treat.
So I am now at about 1500m in Andermatt, where the campsite is the parking area for the ski resort, so we are right next to the cable cars. It started to rain just as I was putting up the tent, but it has abated now.
The forecast for tomorrow is OK, not good, but OK. I feel OK; tired but not exhausted, and think I should manage the last 600m or so to the top. I will wait and see what the weather does in the morning! Tomorrow I may be in Italy, having crossed the Alps!!