We arrived without incident in Locarno yesterday. We didn’t take Ayla with us when we checked in but we ran into the owners over the course of the afternoon anyway. They didn’t seem too alarmed by her size although she massively dwarfed their 4 kg Chihuahua.

After we got settled in, we decided to head up to the climbing areas to check out the situation and scope out the routes. One of them which we went to last year we actually have to cross a bridge to get to. The bridge is a metal grate construction which we forgot about and it terrified Ayla. She wouldn’t set a toe on it. So we went to check out the next option for this trip.

We hadn’t been there before so we first had the challenge of finding the actual location of the rock. After driving up and down the mountain a few times and seeing some incredible views of the lake, we finally found a tiny little street which was barely wide enough to drive the Defender down which led to the climbing area. The topos we have for the rock are pretty bad but about an hour after crawling around trying to find some bolts or pehaps even route names we recognized from the topo, we finally find the walls we could climb. We were pretty tired after exploring everything and the dog too so we headed back to the city to find our parking space.

We went to dinner again at Popolo and had forgotten had poor the service is during the dinner rush, which we apparently hit just right. But the food was still good and Ayla behaved well until someone else arrived with a dog and sat at the table next to us. So we wrapped up dinner and headed to the Piazza Grande for ice cream. As usual for our trips here, we were in bed at 10.

We’re now sitting at Pozzo, a small cafe off the Via Borghese. We just ate a couple panini parmense (sandwiches with prosciutto, cheese, salad and tartar sauce) and will head out to the wall after picking up our climbing gear from the apartment. It’s still a bit cool out at the moment but it should be warming up nicely.

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