WALKING IN THE WESTERN DOLOMITES

What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Drawing the curtains back on the first morning, having arrived in rain and darkness the night before, and seeing the beautiful mountains! Seeing the incredible views after a slog up a steep slope! The wild flowers. They were so abundant and beautiful. Swimming and relaxing in the steam room before dinner - what luxury!

What did you think of your group leader?

Eric was relaxed but in control, which is no mean feat when you have a group of 17 or so. He briefed us about the next day's walk every evening. He had alternatives in case of bad weather. We had a storm after lunch one day and Eric changed the route so that we got down as fast as possible. Then the bus didn't arrive so he arranged a taxi for us all while we waited in a cafe. He was a great group leader and I'm sure he could handle anything. He knew lots about the area, plants, etc too. He was a lovely, knowledgable, good humoured guide.

Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Believe the trip notes when it says take a warm hat and gloves. It was late June and the weather on the last few days was variable. We got caught in a storm and it hailed. I was very glad of my hat, gloves and waterproof trousers! I had a hydration system and everyone envied it. Take a walking pole (or two). I'd never used one before and I was glad of it on the gravelly slopes, some of which are quite steep.  

Is there anything else you would like to add?

An amazing trip! Fields full of flowers, beautiful mountains, glacial rivers, amazing views, friendly hotel staff who remembered my name after I told them once, delicious 5 course dinners, croissant-eating donkeys, lots of banter, the wonderful spa... I'd have stayed forever!   Soraga is quite small and relatively untouristy compared to other towns we saw. The hotel is away from the main road and I liked the location, next to a small church and older buildings. I found it interesting that the architecture is very Austrian/German and these influences were also reflected in the food. Pasta, knodel, goulash and plenty of ice cream! We used the bus and ski lifts every day except the first. It was great to be up in the mountains already and then walk even higher up.