“Have you not noticed that the wild flowers are becoming scarcer every year? It may be that their wise men have told them to depart till man becomes more human. Perhaps they have migrated to heaven.”
― Kakuzō Okakura, The Book of Tea
Italian ethnologist Fosco Maraini, who lived and explored the East far and wide, high and low, says about Campo Imperatore, (L’Aquila), Italy: “It could undoubtedly be Tibet. It looks like Phari-Dong plain, on the way from India to Lhasa”. (I trust mr. Maraini but I snooped Phari-Dong on Google Maps and the resemblance with Campo Imperatore is really astonishing).
I don’t know if Maraini ever rode a bike on that plain – I hope he did – and had the same fun I had when I took a ride on Campo Imperatore last summer.
On the coast the temperature was far above 30° C (86° F) and there, it was scarcely 20° C (68° F), so pedalling was nice and almost sweat-free. The track I rode with Bike Inside Team friends is easy and comfortable, no steep hills to climb, wide track, sheer fun .
The 26-km (16,15 mi) track starts from Rifugio San Francesco and develops on the bottom of the shingle canyon all the way through Lago di Racollo and back on the tarmac road. All around you can enjoy the view of the highest peak of the Appennines (Corno Grande, 2912 m – 9553ft) and the other mountains of the range (Brancastello, Prena and Camicia).
If you forgot to bring your packed lunch with you, you can have lunch at Rifugio San Francesco or grill yourself sausages, steaks and arrosticini that you can buy at Mucciante butcher’s. They provide the grill, the fire, the meat and the drinks. You provide the fun.