Itinerary (by bicycle): Customs post Martina (Martinsbruck) – border crossing at Schalkl (Austria) – Vinadi (Weinberg, turn-off for Samnaun) – Hof da Fans (Pfandshof) – Customs post Spissermühle
Distance: 19.0 km
Time: 1 hour 55 minutes (plus 30 minute coffee break in the duty-free centre Pfandshof)
Vertical distance: 580 m uphill; 100 m downhill
We left Sent fairly early and were soon at the customs post in Martina, about 16 km away. Here I unloaded Roger’s bicycle and assembled it (wheels had been removed). A border guard told us that kayaking was forbidden from here this year, because of a construction site. (But I no longer intended to do the next 6-7 km by kayak – too late in the season, water too cold, no companions, etc.)
At 9 o’clock I could start, still in the shade, at -2°C, about 7,5 km to the border crossing to Austria, from here back uphill to Vinadi and then up the mountain road towards Samnaun. I had to make a big effort, panted a lot, and had to push the bicycle now and then. Two major construction sites with one-way traffic, a number of tunnels (I had no lights on the bicycle), but never more than 250 meters from the border (it runs lower down along the Schergen river). Sally was waiting for me at the first duty-free market, for a coffee with apple strudel, then I was again strengthened for the last 2 km to the turn-off for Spiss and Landeck (Austrian customs post).
Then I disassembled the bicycle and stowed it in the car, and we drove a few kilometres to Samnaun village, where we found a hotel (about 70% of the hotels, etc are already closed, until the end of November). I was then still too exhausted to contemplate another hike in the afternoon.
Night: Hotel Post, Samnaun