Our plan for Italy was to head south to Rome visiting some of the sights along the way and then make our way back to the North. In reality however we were finding it difficult to find Aires that we were happy with and those we were comfortable with were stretching our slim budget. We decided that some of Italian sights would probably be best visited another time as tourists without a van and a dog and so plan B was to continue across the north to the Dolomites. Not the first time and probably not the last we have foregone the obvious tourist choices and headed for the mountains instead!
We happened upon the village of Ponte di Legno on the edge of the Adamello National Park. Most of the Aires in Italy charge a fee and we had increasingly found that many were neither picturesque nor well maintained so we wild camped a few nights in this area at closed ski lifts among the company of a few other vans.
The Adamello national park is home to a small population of European Brown Bears that were reintroduced to the area in 1999. Our limited knowledge of bears told us they like things such as honey, porridge and picnic baskets and so we were careful not to leave these items lying around, caution which was obviously well placed as we didn’t meet any of the Adamello bears during our stay.
We also took the opportunity of some slightly cooler weather to do a bit of mountain biking, there was a good downhill mountain bike trail which we had inadvertently camped right near the start of and we had fun doing a few different sections of it. The only trouble with downhill mountain biking is getting back up the hill! After several descents and lung bursting ascents we returned to the van for well earned hot showers and food.