Woke up to some EXCELLENT news…..our application for our visa reference numbers for Iran has been approved! Yippee! We are going to IRAN!!!!!
Had the last of our single serve cereals for breakfast before packing up to depart at around 10.30am. We plugged Andermatt into the GPS that would take us over the Furka Pass. The ride towards the start of the Pass was exhilerating in itself and the Furka Pass was phenomenal. As we were about to start the Pass itself, in Glestch, we stopped to get some food, but the prices were ridiculous – so we gave it a miss. Upon returning to our bike we were approached by an Italian man, Roberto and were later joined by his friend, Palmer…..admiring the ANIMAL and asking about our trip. We shared some stories and Roberto proudly showed off his scooter. We gave him one of our 2upadventure stickers so he can stay in touch.
On our way, ascending the steep entrance we commenced the Furka Pass. We lost count of the number of switchbacks we took as we climbed up into the snow and ice. At times there was no barrier and I was scared shitless! I kept telling myself…..”you are braver than you think”…as Christopher Robin would say!
We descended the far side of the Furka Pass and were heading towards Andermatt when we saw a signpost pointing in another direction, towards the Gotthard Pass. As we had no committed plans as to where we needed to be, we made a snap decision and took it. We eventually found ourselves faced with the closure of the actual Gotthard Pass – so could not continue, but took the alternative route Gotthard Aleio. Once again we climbed up into the snow fields before taking a breathtaking descent into the valley below….it was awesome! At times the road engineers had run out of mountain upon which to build their roads and so switchbacks had been built up as bridges and we were suspended in thin air as we peeled around the sharp bends. No room for mistakes on these roads!
Down in the valley we used the GPS to locate the nearest camp site (near Faido Vince thinks) and riding to the campsite started a whole new adventure. We peeled off the road we’d been following through the valley and entered a sleepy village before starting a steep and twisty climb up into the hills. 500m from our camp site destination the sealed road ran out, replaced with a rocky goat track that descended through the forest, with a steep drop to one side and a cliffside on the other. The track dropped down through the trees and the loose surface made for an interesting descent. Upon arriving at the camp site there was no shade to be seen or staff to assist, so after a quick discussion we opted to move on and find a more inviting camp ground. I had a minor melt down……and Vince had to work hard to convince me to get back on the bike for the ride back up. Thankfully the ride out was marginally less harrowing than the descent, but not by much. The track was narrow and every time I peered over the edge I thanked my Dr that my blood pressure tablets work….otherwise I think it would be heart attack or stroke time!
We stopped in the village at the bottom of the hill where Vince had a Beer and I had a scotch….and….we had the most FANTASTIC ham and cheese sandwiches at a fraction of the cost we had paid in France! When Vince went to pay for the food we were a bit confused…the prices were in Swiss Francs, but all the street signs, menus etc were in Italian….we thought we might have crossed a boarder, but when we asked we were told we were definitely still in Switzerland! We were soon back on the road…more relaxed…and decided to press on a little further to somewhere near Biasca!
The Campgrounds, Campeggio al Censo, cost us 37 Swiss Francs….for a patch of the most dead looking grass….highway robbery! To add insult to injury the only food available was from their little store…it cost us 23 Swiss Fancs for 2 Beers, 2 Cokes and 2 small ice creams! Luckily we have started carrying and emergency can of food ….so thats what was for dinner!