Day 12 - Entering Austria

Tuesday 8th July 2014

We ride over a small pass to the south of Salzburg and into the Salzburg lakes area. This brings us to the Post Alm toll road, a lovely ride up and over the mountain towards the Tauern National Park. The very impressive Tauernautobahn flies and tunnels it's way south on very high viaducts and through long tunnels.

Mick at the Post Alm toll booth
...and me

But that's not for us. The lovely B99 will twist and swoop for us all the way down to Gmund and the turning west up the Maltatal to Gasthof Hochalmspitze.

High up on the Post Alm we stop for a lunch of Wurst and fries at a small restaurant nestled in the peaks. As with all restaurants here in Austria the food is excellent.
Then on down the southern side to Radstadt and the B99.

Erik the Marmot on the Post Alm

As we drop down the Obertauern pass it starts to rain but as we ride over the last pass of the day at Katchberg the rain stops and we swing down this lovely road to Gmund and the entrance to the Valley of the Waterfalls.
We arrive at Gasthof Hochalmspitze to be greeted by John and Ros Gowers, the English owners of this bikers' haven in the Austrian Alps.

Our hosts John & Ros Gowers

 There are more than 20 bikes parked outside and more in the underground garage/workshop.

Everything here is well thought out and gemütlich (comfy). There is open and free wifi access in the main hotel and the dormitory house across the road. The unflappable John provides guided ride outs on request and has an unparalleled knowledge of the best biking roads for many miles around in Austria, Italy and Slovenia.

Popular bike hotel

They have built good relationships with local bike shops and if mechanical issues are beyond John's abilities help is on hand nearby. With a well stocked bar and excellent half board terms it's my favourite place to stay in the eastern Alps.

Tonight in the Gaststube we watch Germany humiliate Brazil 7-1 in the World Cup semi final.

Tomorrow we ride the glorious Nockalmstrasse. 


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