Via ferratas and waterfalls, but no bus

We’ve had a brilliant day doing 3 via ferratas, two of which went behind waterfalls. They were called Giovanni Barbara, Lucio Delaiti and Cengia di Mattia, and they were much less scary than the one we attempted in Austria, with plenty of foot and handholds.

We caught the bus to the start of the route. It was packed so we had to stand, and stopped further from the start of the walk than we’d expected, but that was ok… it’s been a lovely day for hiking.

We followed the path uphill for sometime, following signs for Cascata Di Fanes, until we reached a spot in the woods where Ferrata Giovanni Barbara began. There were lots of other people getting their via ferrata kit on, and we did the same.

The path started along a ridge before dropping down and passing behind a waterfall. We didn’t need to clip onto the iron cables at this point because the path was wide. After this though, the path became steeper and rockier and the cables were helpful for reassurance in case we fell. That said, both of us were happy on the route, in fact, I was pleased not to be the wimp holding everyone up!

We scrambled over boulders following a stream to reach another waterfall, tumbling down the cliff. After crossing the river, we started Ferrata Lucio Delaiti.

This had some easy ledges, but also a 4 metre vertical section, which was a bit trickier. It didn’t give me wobbly legs like the one we tried in Austria though!

When we finished this, we continued our walk uphill to the third via ferrata. I found this quite difficult… the path was steep and rocky, and it was very hot. Finally we reached Ferrata Cengia do Mattia and, wow, it was worth the climb!

Like Giovanni Barbara, this via ferrata passed behind a waterfall, but this waterfall was bigger and better. The iron way then took us up wet and slippery rocks and along a ledge, before a vertical section, which finished up above the waterfall, where it tumbled to the valley below. What a great day!

It was mainly back downhill now. It didn’t take long us to get back down so we took 15 minutes to cool our feet in the river before heading to the bus stop. This is where the day’s drama occurred!

The buses were only 2-hourly and, when we got to the bus stop, we saw the bus going in the opposite direction towards Cortina, knowing we’d have to wait 30 minutes for it to return. We sat in the shade, had a snack and finished our water.

By the time the bus arrived… late… there were about 15 of us waiting. The driver pulled up and told everyone the bus was full. Not sure what to do, we tried thumbing a lift… nobody stopped… searching for a taxi number… no signal… and then went to look at a nearby board with a huge map on it to see how long it would take to walk to Cortina. At least we would be able to get a drink there while we waited for the next bus, but it was an hour and a half a way.

In the meantime, a man who was with his family came over to say they’d managed to order a taxi and had room for us if we’d like to join them. We were very grateful. It turns out they were from Switzerland, but with an Italian friend. We still had to wait an hour in the heat for taxi, and it cost us 20 euros, but at least we got back. It’s been a very long day. Hopefully tomorrow will be an easier!

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