The reason we did the "Grand Giro of Italy" is because we had some visitors, some long-anticipated, first-time visitors. Imagine packing everything you love about your adopted country into ten days. Impossible. Yet, I tried.
I planned the trip with the needs and desires of everyone in mind, a bit of adventure here, a taste of culture there. I did make a few mistakes (that I'll share later), but I think most went well.
We live in a village that draws hundreds of rock climbers each year. We can sit on our little patio in the paese and watch as they scale the walls and we sip Prosecco. Of course, this activity had to be included in the bit of adventure.
We contacted a guide who was recommended by the local rock climbing association, who suggested he take our little group to another area to climb. Apparently the rock faces in our village are primarily for advanced climbers with only one small section for novice climbers.
He shuttled us to Castelvecchio in his great van, and after a near-death experience for a couple of us on the trail leading to the climbing area, he suited everyone up in the gear and then expertly led the experience. (The rocky trail down to the climbing area was very wet and slippery, VERY slippery.)
Everyone suited up except Richard, that is, who insisted on a bit of free-style climbing.
Drop me a line if you are interested in contact information for our guide: Andrea Basso. He is well-qualified to lead you on any number of adventurous expeditions in the Dolomites and beyond, wether it's a few hours of rock climbing or a week-long hiking expedition.
And, oh, this is one of the few times I brought my DSLR along. I'm trying to get back into the habit...I think.