He looked at me and said, "Piaw, if you're asking me now, Conrad's Mountain Lodge looks like a great alternative." He pointed at the hotel across the street.
Surprisingly, we hit the Swiss border in very short order after the initial set of villages. This was unusual because borders are usually set at mountain passes, not half way or one quarter of the way up one. But it was a welcome change, because not only did the road surface get better at the border, the drivers' behaviors got better as well. At the same time, the low clouds dogging us lifted and blue skies emerged. The day warmed up rapidly, becoming hot by the time we reached the first water fountain. We filled up rapidly, and then rode on to the next to fill up again. By then, we were once again in a sauna.
"I thought you would stop at the supermarket, but you didn't," said Arturo when he caught up to us at the last fountain before the hairpin turns started in earnest. "That was a furniture store, not a supermarket." "Noooo! There was a store next to the furniture store!" "Oops."
From St. Moritz, we had a choice: to go up Pontresina and then the Bernina pass, and then visit Livigno on the way to Ofenpass via the Livigno tunnel, or we could ride over to Zernez and then climb Ofenpass directly. While the clouds were looking ominous, I thought we had a good chance of making it up the Bernina pass and into Livigno. Moreover, the idea of a long flat traverse to Zernez didn't appeal to me, despite the tailwind. I'd already climbed Ofenpass a couple of times, and it was unlikely we'd make the hotel inside the national park that day, so we'd be forced to stay in Zernez. The 2007 tour stayed in Zernez and not only was it expensive, I suspected the hotel of giving me a serious case of bed bugs. Fortunately, the food had worked its magic and my companions were persuaded to give the Bernina a try.
Gasthaus Berninahaus. It looked freshly renovated, and at this point I didn't think we'd make Livigno. I stopped and waited for Arturo, who was skeptical. Then he looked on booking.com and saw that yes, there wasn't anything until Livgno, and while the Hospiz Bernina was 100CHF per person, it was for dormitory accommodations while what we had across the street had much better potential. We rode across the street, looked at the double-level 3 person suite, and were sold!
Dinner was sumptuous and expensive, but when we heard the rain pour down after dinner denying us our usual evening walk, we knew we'd made the right decision. That night, as the rain came down I made Pengtoh replace his OEM brake pads with Kool-Stop Salmon pads in anticipation of more rain ahead.