We woke up early, slipped into our clothes, put packs on our backs, and raced out the door with hiking poles in hand. We enjoyed one more amazing vista from Nuvolau’s deck. Wonderful! The days’s trek was to be a long descent around the mountain and down to the road where we would take a lift up to another rifugio. First things first, we really needed breakfast. Our dinner at Rifugio Nuvolau the night before was subpar, so we headed for nearby Rifugio Averau, known for serving tasty food, in spite of its remote location.
We’re happy to say that Averau did not dissapoint us. The food WAS good and the dining room decorated in an inviting style of this region.
Having a long way still to hike, we reluctantly left cozy Averau and started walking…uphill! This was a bit of a surprise as we expected downhill, but the views were worth our efforts!
The narrow trail skirted the mountain, the downhill becoming more steep as we proceeded. The risk of slipping increased with so much loose scree. We turned around to see our cousins behind us with the tall, craggy mountains looming behind with Rifugio Nuvolau on top, where we’d slept the previous night, still barely in sight on the tip of the mountain.
The path changed again to a huge pile of boulders, slowing our progress.
Once we had descended to low land, we enjoyed a pleasant walk to the next chair lift. We could have hiked up to our next rifugio, but we opted — no dissenter among us — to take the fast way up to Rifugio Lagazuoi, which was in sight already at the top.
Lagazuoi is one of the most famous rifugios in the Dolomites. Maybe it’s because you can visit by chairlift, stay in a lovely rifugio with good food, explore the area, and take a lift back down the next day? We happily checked out our room – simple if you compare it to hotels – but really quite nice for a rifugio. The painted chest added a lovely touch to the room.
A final surprise of the day was still to come. After lunch we rested in the room. By mid-afternoon, a serious bit of “weather” had blown in. We looked out the window and saw that fog had enshrouded the mountain top.
Walking and exploring the area was not to be. We sat in the cozy dining area, chatted with other hikers, and watched the weather deteriorate to a September snow by late afternoon.