E-bike Tour between the Garezzo Tunnel and the Passo della Mezzaluna
As I pedal on this marvellous piece of technology, more than just a bicycle (which would certainly ease the effort if I didn’t push it to the limit), I find myself in a dilemma. Should I focus on carefully navigating the potholes and water-carved channels, or should I let myself be captivated by this incredible light and the history of these unreachable vistas?
The silence, broken only by the occasional rustling of the wilderness and the sweet serenades of birds, truly enhances the uniqueness of a landscape that the English would describe as “Amazing!”. We may not have comparable words, but if I feel this good, it must mean something! The ascent never relents… The ever-changing flora surrounding me leaves no doubt, much like the air that becomes thin, delicate, and sharp as we surpass the one-thousand-metre mark.
The Passo della Guardia is an ancient spectacle! Nestled at the foot of Saccarello, the highest mountain in Liguria at 2201 metres, it divides the history and culture of this corner of the Valle Argentina in half. On one side are the Brigasche lands where Occitan is spoken, including Realdo and Verdeggia; on the other side, an expanse of definitive green in every shade offers us an instant view of our arduous journey toward the Colle del Garezzo and down to where we now clearly see the Mezzaluna with its mysteries. I want to stop. But I keep going… the path becomes more honest now, the pedalling smoother, but this climb doesn’t let up. Garezzo awaits with its one thousand and eight hundred metres and its sensory enigma! I’m there. I pause for a moment to put on the “windstopper” and walk those hundred metres or so that separate the Valle Argentina and the Arroscia valleys. In between, the Garezzo Tunnel, chiselled with pickaxes and hammers, dynamite and blood, by soldiers and ancient men who once bestowed this trade route upon the numerous, enchanting medieval villages nestled among the rocks, displaying all the colours of the world.
To one side, the short gulf of Arma di Taggia, with its harbour and buildings seemingly floating on the water. On the other side, just a few steps away, the Albenga Plain! In the background, a Corsica that feels too close to be real! I wake up…
Grazing cows and colourful, free-spirited horses, finally determining their own boundaries, accompany me on the descent: long, technical, but confident. I already know that I will continue to enjoy this marvellous journey, but… I’m returning home. Much too slowly to be a descent!
I can already envision a joyful return to these enchanted mountains, while I wish to leave all my dreams and their designs in this unique place… Abandon them right here, between my thoughts and the sea…