Since leaving the Plitvička national park, in Croatia where we visited the former top secret airbase of Zeljava we made our way to Fort Pramand, which was the next area we planned to do some off-road exploring, near Oulx.
On the way we stopped in Slovenia at the Bovec national park to chill out for a day or so, around the beautiful mountains and river Soča, we seem to like that area and always have a good time exploring. We also stopped in Revine, which is near Connegliano in Italy, the area famous for Prosecco sparkling wine. We obviously had to grab a box from a vineyard. The main reason for stopping here though was to use it as a gateway to Venice. There is an intercity train that will take you straight into Venice main station. That's another story though.
After this we travelled towards Oulx, barring another one night stop at Lago Maggiore. Oulx is one of the nearest towns to where we had planned to head up to the tracks I had researched. So the original plan was to stock up with and food, water and beer we needed then go. Oulx has a few official camp sites in the immediate vicinity, should you need a base to explore from.
But the Landy had other ideas. I had noticed that on occasion with increasing frequency, that the battery voltage was creeping up to the point of potentially over charging the batteries. This was concerning, as apart from potentially screwing up my expensive new batteries it was likely to mean we could not depend on them when we were off the beaten track. Luckily when we stopped in Oulx, we had a fiddle with the alternator which was fairly new as I uprated it a few months earlier and found that some of the terminals must have either worked loose or built up a resistance on the regulator sensing connection. This obviously led to the regulator over exciting the alternator giving a high output voltage. It was interesting because none of the connections were noticeably loose. It has been fine since.
So now the beer could be kept cool we headed up to the mountain tracks, via the main road that runs parallel to the E70 motorway, I think it is the ss n 24 headed east we took the left that leads up past Fort Fenils. However the excitement was not over!
As we started to ascend we suddenly noticed a strong smell of smoke and soon came to some mountain fire trucks, police and lots of people. It was a forest fire approaching the road, we were lucky though they guided us past. The road is tarmac for a few kilometres on the way up before it turns to easy gravel.
Next the Pajero which Carole and Daniel were driving started to overheat! So we had to stop shortly after hitting gravel for lunch. Luckily to get to Fort Pramand we did not have far to go so, time was on our side. You'd think that was the end of the drama though surely. Luckily the next incident started as we approached the fort. The Pajero decided that the automatic transmission oil indicator would light, suggesting it was overheating. We guessed it was because of the low range work and slow speed, not helped probably by the earlier overheat. Oh well it would get a chance to cool overnight.
The tracks up to Fort Pramand are easy, until you get to the last bit leading up to the Fort, which is a turn off from the main track anyhow. The track narrows because of trees either side that lean towards the center of the track. The ground has a few large roots to climb. It is not to bad in a small or low 4x4, but with the root tent on the Landy it was a little tricky, we clipped a corner of the tent lightly. Just a scuff mark no damage.
The Fort itself is fairly big, but in a very poor state of repair it sits at 2162 meters, there are various warnings spray painted on the walls warning of Danger. The roof is in a poor state of repair. I suspect it has had a few vehicles on its roof. You can walk onto it by following the track up, the view is excellent from the top.
Once we settled up there and started to cook and set ourselves up for the night it started to feel a bit spooky. The girls were convinced it was haunted. Especially when something took exception to Wendy's singing. For some reason after we all told her not to quit her day job, and that she did no justice to Black Betty, the radio in the car came on and started blaring!
We had a nice dinner which was made even better with the red wine we got from Connegliano to season it. Shortly after the clouds rolled in so we disappeared for what we thought would be a peaceful night. However with the girls convinced we were being watched by spooky ghosts, Wendy woke a few times to noises, saying she felt like someone was climbing the ladder to the roof tent. She then woke me up because she was too scared to go to the toilet! The conversation went along the lines of.... "Do you need a pee. no. Can you come with me. Do I have too. Yes. Well I am not going twice get Cassie, we'll have a family pee." Needless to say. There was no ghost waiting.
With hind sight I guess being parked with the ladder right against the Fort, between two very dark portals was probably adding to the girls apprehension. In the morning Carole got out of the tent having had no sleep, because she was also convinced ghost soldiers were marching across their tent!
After breakfast we left a little tired and headed for Mount Jafferau, via a cool tunnel.
Feel free to leave a comment if you want to know more.comments powered by Disqus