Monday, August 08, 2011

Day 4: Rosenlaui to Realp



We awoke to beautiful clear skies. That made waiting for the train something enjoyable, with glorious views around us, and the sun finally lighting up the valley with sights of the peaks around us!
From Tour of the Alps 2011

We drove back to Rosenlaui eager to get going on the bicycles again, and found to our delight the classic views leading to Rosenlaui waiting for us.
From Tour of the Alps 2011

Since XiaoQin had the car today, she could afford to walk around and enjoy the scenery while we got onto our bikes and rode down the mountain and headed towards Grimsel pass, agreeing to meet at Guttannen where the grocery store might be closed by the time we got there. We rode up the pass quickly, and upon reaching Guttannen discovered that the grocery store was open, so we got ice cream and waited. After a bit I called XiaoQin and she had turned off onto Sustens pass instead. I told her not to worry since Phil and I had plenty of food, so we'd see her at the top of Grimsel after she had lunch. She drove back to Lammi and had lunch there instead.

The ride up to Grimsel was great, done under beautiful skies, but at the Grimsel parking lot I didn't quite feel like myself, having lost quite a bit of appetite. I chalked it up to a lack of salt and started downing salt pills, as well as eating the meat that XiaoQin had brought in the car. (She arrived just a couple of minutes after we summit-ted) Only much later did I realize that I probably had altitude sickness, which was strange since the hike up to a higher location the day before, done at high intensity, did not affect me at all.

From Grimsel Pass, you get a nice view of Furka pass, which is 200m taller, but comes with quite a bit of descent! Since I wasn't feeling all that well, I decided to take it easy on the climb.
From Tour of the Alps 2011


At the Hotel Belvedere I started feeling like my deraileur was stuck. Since I was tired I didn't stop to diagnose the problem but after the steep part I tried to shift and the deraileur locked up. A forced stop made me look at the problem and I found that the chain had gone off the pulley wheels. This wasn't hard to fix. All I had to do was to remove the rear derailleur, pull the chain back around the pulley wheels, and then replace the deraileur and ride up to the top.

With that delay, I made it to the summit ten minutes after Phil, and then after that we started the descent into Realp. Our original goal was Hospental. Since a massive headwind was expected, we agreed to all regroup in Realp and then we could put the bikes onto the car and drive into Hospental.
From Tour of the Alps 2011

As we rode through Realp, however, I spied a sign for lodging at 35CHF a night! That was too cheap to pass up, and when we inspected the lodging, we decided that it was more than acceptable and so stayed in Realp. I was really worn out and tired, and felt a strange lack of appetite. I forced myself to eat dinner anyway, and hoped that I would feel better the next morning.

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