Hi Everyone. We slipped out of Zurich early on Friday without breakfast because annoyingly, we were not allowed to park Claude close to the tent and we cook from his boot. A bit Swiss but fair enough. Back on the A4 towards Italy, up through the swiss country side where, increasingly farms nestled beneath towering peaks, through amazing tunnels (the longest over six km) and over high viaducts, the (man made)engineering oddly in keeping with the brutal grey slopes above. The sun began to shine at last and the new greens of the trees seemed very 'bright', none more so than at Splugen where the rivers tumbled out of the mountains through a beautiful village (see picture). Then it was off up over the Splugenpass with Claude soon into his work climbing steadily in first gear, the hairpins (see picture) making it impossible to work up any speed. The scene was very NZ above the snow line - barren, some grasses or tussock, scree and snow. We were passed many times of course but it was usually with a wave or a toot and sometimes a stop and a chat. Made to col at 2113 mtrs (and the border to Italy) and back down the other side where, in complete contrast to the ascent, we where in lush forest. There where many motorcyclists and a few cyclists puffing up and it seemed to us that the Splugenpass was a kind of notch-in-a-belt, perhaps the way we felt about Mont V on the RCS trip. Once out of the alpine forests the valley broadened again and we soon at Lago di Como. The road hugs the west side of the lake all the way to Como itself and is as stunning, no, perhaps more stunning than any post card you have seen of it. Our timing was not great though as all the camping places are at the top of the lake and it being only 2 pm we decided to push on. Of course we never saw another one, the real estate perhaps too expensive, or the clientele perhaps too inexpensive ! So once through Como Claude pick up his skirts and headed for Lago di Garda where we shouted ourselves a cheap hotel and hot shower. We will not mention the frustrating signage in Briscia or the deadly traffic on the A4 but we will mention our new friend M Trizelli at the Hotel Astoria who showed much kindness and a keen appreciation of Claude. CU, Glenn & Matt.