Lake ComoA hugely better day. After a satisfactory breakfast we readily found the starting point, got a good cup of coffee and and were on the road by ten past nine or so. The major events for the day were to be the Grimsel Pass and then on to the Simplon Pass.

Czechwrecks provided another challenge where we had to identify, and photograph,  some  locations they had already photographed but they only provided small sections of the photos. This (as last year) proved very hard and led too some very sudden stops in the middle of the road. We collected a few, perhaps half of the required photos which may or may not be enough.

None of this distracted from the passes which are truly spectacular however once done we were free to consider the remainder of the route for the day. Justin, the organiser, had arranged for us to skirt Milan and then head up via Como to Bormia. This is a very, very, long way.

By the time we got down the pass into Italy the weather had improved to warmer than you might think comfortable in the the non air conditioned Volvo. Windows open on the autostratse is way too noisy but closed is really not an option you can live with.


Top of the SimplonSome consideration led us to think Milan could be avoided and your scribe decided that we might go via the ferry from Verania and then via the back roads though Switzerland again to Lugano and thence another ferry across Lake Como. This turned out to be a splendid plan as the ferries are both cheap and frequent and involve getting out of the car to enjoy a superb sandwich or (and) gellato as well as not sitting in the car. Well it worked for us but you'd have to be aware that some of these roads are essentially one lane with large tour coaches and some potential for delay.

The last leg from the end of lake Como to Tirano is a horrible and seemingly endless ribbon development and it is hard to understand what the local council is smoking. From Tirano to Bormio is almost all tunnel so it really doesn't matter what it looks like outside, it just takes forever to get there.

We have spent some time discussing the rally over past two days and we have to say that while Street Safari have really improved the organisation over the past two days but in doing so have lost the heart of the programme. We have hardly seen the organisers and have yet to hand in our scores from the past two days (indeed we don;t know where to do so tonight and while we could have done so last night it was so late we felt more than slightly disinclined).

tephen and Gerlinde with the VolvoMore importantly though, there has been little opportunity to meet our fellow travelers as we are spread out and there is  no common centre. Last year we bemoaned the poor organisation and in fact it helped to bond the participants. There is no such imperative this year. The registration at the vile Holiday Inn in Calais was so brief (a good thing) it allowed us to get out of the hotel in less than 30 minutes (also a good thing). The trouble is if you take the camaraderie out of it you have to ask why you are doing the tour in such a 'group'?

Dinner and accommodation was at the Hotel Nevada in Bormio where the owners and staff are most friendly and an absolute pleasure to be with (their son is in Wanaka teaching skiing at Treble Cone). You can give that 5 stars for us.