15-Sep-2018 -- This is the last out of 3 reports reaching confluence points in Italian’s regions Umbria, Marche and Emilia-Romagna during my 4-day bicycle trip. The story starts at 43°N 12°E and continues from 43°N 13°E.
To reach this confluence from its “diagonal” neighbour 43°N 13°E, I had an extremely long way. The direct approach through the Apennine Mountains would involve climbing about 20 mountain passes. So I rode to the Adria and followed the coast northwards until I reached San Marino.
On confluence day, I thought that I would have a lot of time to reach this confluence point, because the road distance was only 68 km. So I used the morning to visit the highest point – the Torre Guaita in San Marino. After visiting the old town, I commenced my ride towards this confluence. But progress was slow: my route was perpendicular to the valleys and the climbs were extremely steep.
Google terrain view gave me the impression that the confluence is in a valley with a stream that flows off to the north. So I decided my approach from the north – namely from Voltre (6 km from the confluence). This was a big mistake. All the tracks petered out. I ended up pushing and partially carrying my bicycle on footpaths over the Monte Grande which is the highest point in the area. Of course I had to climb down on the other side until I reached the road-network again.
Finally I realized that access is best from south-west. Meanwhile sunset was not far away anymore and I had to hurry again. At a distance of 600 m I left the road and opened a cow fence (a sign says that hunting is not allowed, but hiking seems not to be forbidden. A track nicely leads up to a distance of 80 m to the confluence.
I parked my bike and ascended a steep hill. I found the confluence directly on some kind of track in a dense forest of young beech trees. But nearby are agricultural meadows and open fields. It is strange, but the view east gives the impression that I didn’t hold the camera horizontally. But I am convinced that I did so, only that the trees were not growing straight upwards, but perpendicular to the valley slope. Previous visits show pictures with the same phenomenon.
Coming back from the confluence visit, I was quite lucky: Just 1.5 km from the confluence is an “Agriturismo” which offers accommodation and food in a fine atmosphere.
I searched for a route to visit 44°N 11°E, which is the last confluence point in the area that I haven’t visited yet. But due to the mountain-terrain I saw no chance to reach it and also get back home to Zurich at the same day. Therefore, I cycled with tailwinds in the Padan Plain reaching Sant'Ilario d'Enza at 5 PM and taking a train back home.
CP Visit Details:
- Distance of bicycle parking: 81 m
- Time to walk to the CP: 5 min
- Time at the CP: 6:37 PM
- Measured height: 549 m
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 0 m
- Position accuracy: 4 m
- Topography: steep valley grade
- Vegetation: beech, pine.
- Weather: sunny, 27° C (felt temperature)
- Given Name: The Needless Mountain Ascend Confluence
The story finishes here.