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It’s a Friday afternoon and completely stressed out between work and various problems, we decide to organize a little getaway and take refuge in paradise in the middle of nowhere. We pick up the phone and book the Bimse refuge in Riale in Piedmont’s Val Formazza.
The couple who runs the refuge is always kind and, despite not seeing us for three years, they immediately know who we are and find a room for us and obviously, also for our four-legged friends, Nicklaus and Walpi (it will be the first time in the snow for the puppy).
So we pack three backpacks in a flash and leave for Riale.
Arriving at the Mountain Refuge
On our way, however, we realize that by the time we arrive, it will already be dark and in the high mountains it is generally not recommended to hike in the dark. We decide the best thing to do is to call and ask the couple who runs Rifugio Bimse to come and get us with their snowmobile. It will also be a brand new experience for the puppy of the house.
After an hour and a half on the road, we arrive at the parking lot and as soon as we get out of the car, we begin to breathe in the fresh mountain air (it was -3°C and freezing). After a few minutes, backpacks on our shoulders, we hop on the snowmobile and set off toward the refuge.
Five minutes later we are surrounded by snow and nothingness: a breathtaking sight. Our mountain refuge is situated at the foot of a dam and on the edge of spectacular Lake Morasco.
We leave our backpacks in the room and head down to dinner chatting with the managers and excited that both Nicklaus and Walpi can stay with us at the table while we have dinner. (They also get lots of extra attention!)
Even though it isn’t late, it’s time to go to bed because, in the mountains, the day begins early. After a short walk around the premises, we go to bed with an enchanting view of the valley outside the window.
It’s 7:30 on Saturday morning and we are all ready for the day’s plan, a hike downhill from the refuge.
We have a super breakfast on the go, prepare our backpacks, warm clothes, and for Nicklaus and Walpi coats and paw cream to protect our fur babies. There’s a light snowstorm outside, but obviously, that doesn’t stop us!
We say goodbye to the couple at the refuge, give the pups some extra cuddles, and off we go.
are you ready to go?
During the journey, taking it easy (about two hours of walking) we come across…nothing. Just the four of us and nature. And even if the temperature is -4°C and our legs are burning from hiking in the snow, it doesn’t bother us because these are the moments that make it all worth it!
We have to be honest, Rifugio Bimse and the Formazza Valley feel like home and during the past three years when we weren’t able to go, we truly missed it.
The description of our time here can be summed up to one word: peace. In this valley, we are in total tranquillity and fur babies can go wild and run around without any danger.
Along the way, as we get closer to town, we do run into a skier or another person heading up to the refuge. We stop and chat and the dogs don’t mind because it just means more attention for them.
When we reach town and our car in the lot where we left it, I must admit that all four of us are a little sad to see our adventure coming to an end so soon. Sometimes great times don’t last long enough. We make a promise to come back soon and make it even better next time!
About the Author
We’re Fiorella and Diego, a couple that loves to travel in a unique way.
We’d like to introduce you to our pups Nicklaus and Walpi who are always with us, and also our even bigger fur babies with tails and manes! (Obviously, it’s more difficult to travel with them).
Our motto for our traveling adventures is “we go where they can go” and that is true for our dogs and for our horses
Our goal is to discover every part of Italy from the north to the south! We love peaceful places and hidden wonders.
So every chance we get, we take off on an adventure with our 4-legged friends!