Over many many generations a belief runs in my family that the water of a small lake, hidden in the mountains near my hometown, has healing powers. My forefathers took long arduous journeys under their feet to reach the lake and bathe in it. During an absolutely splendid summer holiday in July 2015, I got curious and decided to do the pilgrimage in memoriam of my late father, who was one of the more critical proponents of the pond’s healing powers.
In lieu of an arduous hike, I opted for the soft-core 21st century version: train ride, slouching in a cable car and a cool downhill shred on a Fully with Shimano XTR components and a seat dropper. Initially, I downgraded the journey to a simple means to an end, but as I write-up this travelogue two month ex post, I realise that getting to the pond and back to my hometown was a beautiful and very rewarding complement to “having been there”.
The actual ride begins at the terminus of a cable car, high up in a ski-resort. Nothing much going on during summer, a few hikers who are attracted by “God knows what” and a few bikers attempting to break the world record in “how many downhill meters can we do in a day without sweating a bit”. Well manicured ski slopes and endless arrays of chairlifts are a must for winter mass tourism, but in summer the scenery is eery: all is dead, the bulldozed slopes, very little vegetation and the chairlifts in aestanation (you won’t find this word on Google…) create an otherworldly, barren, creepy and gruff scenery for the first few minutes of the descent.
Twenty minutes into the ride, the trail gets technical – in other words – I fall off the bike. Luckily no injuries, more like an embarrassment – all well captured by my GoPro.
Suddenly, like magic, the gentle side of mother nature takes over: lush greenery and sunlight, my mood changes very quickly. A few meters after crossing a high altitude pass, I’m in awe of the scenery. Here it is, in the middle of pastures that radiate in saturated hues, the “Holy Lake” in front of my eyes. I get off the bike and simply stand there for a while ‘soaking’ it in.
I take an – admittedly partial – dip into the cold water and shot the mandatory selfies, panoramas and 4K videos and fill two of my water bottles with liquid from the pond.
The final leg bears no more challenges: over wide trails I zoom through forests and incredibly beautiful meadows gradually back into civilsation.
The effects of the “Holy Water”? Believe in it or not: the healing power of the journey is sufficient balm to any happy or stressed soul 🙂
Check-out a 5 mins video on my you tube channel (click on the small icon) THE VIDEO IS IN HD quality, enjoy 🙂