Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Latemar, Lago di Carezza, and the Agatha Christie Walk

After being inspired by this blog post, this past weekend a few friends and I headed north towards Bolzano to hike the area around Lago Di Carezza, a beautiful alpine lake surrounded by the beautiful Dolomiti.  Following walk #36 in Walking in the Dolomites, we were brought to the beautiful Latemar Group, then down to the lake to see its many shades of green.

Trails 18 and 20 are well-known as "The Agatha Christie Walk" because Christie's novel "The Big Four" concludes in the Labyrinth, a maze-like landscape at the base of the Latemar Group formed by an ancient landslide.  Walking through, around, and under boulders, one doesn't realize that one has reached almost half-way up the mountain with what boils down to as a light rock scramble.   

After passing through the Labyrinth, the trail turns into a long downhill walk that culminates into Lago di Carezza, a small alpine lake that is fed by melting snow.  From above, the water is many shades of green and blue, clear enough that the shadows of the surrounding trees create playful shadows at the bottom of the lake.

From ground level, the lake is a mirror, reflecting the surrounding mountains on its surface.  On one side, pictured above, the lake reflects the Latemar Group.  On the other side, pictured below, the lake reflects the much further Catinaccio Group.  

It's a pity that the lake is so close to the road, which brings in many tour groups by bus and completely ruins the tranquility of the location.  However, it is still beautiful and worth a hike to arrive at and witness.

NOTE:  Due to current construction of tourist facilities, trail #10, which usually leads back to Hotel di Carezza (where the walk starts and ends), was diverted to lead back to the western side of the lake.  If you are following the route suggested by the book, take trail #10 (which starts at the northern part of the lake) and head further east on trail #12 when the two trails converge.  When you start seeing signs for The Agatha Christie Walk, follow it; although the map shows that trail #12 and the Agatha Christie Walk do not intersect and in fact go opposite ways, the sign brings you to the beginning of the walk (right in front of the hotel), not directly to the Labyrinth.  

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