Sunday 24 July 2016. My journey home from the Dolomites was a lengthy one both in distance and time. Our bus to the airport was scheduled to leave at 06:15 local time (05:15 UK time) so breakfast was rather early at 05:45. We were leaving so early so that those flying back to Manchester could catch their 11am flight whilst our flight back to Gatwick wasn’t scheduled until 12am. The coach transfer was quite speedy so we arrived at Verona airport a little after 9am with hours to kill. It is a relatively small airport so the checking-in and security process went without a hitch. All that I could do was to get a coffee and listen to my music until flight time.
The APU on our aircraft wasn’t working so we were a little delayed both on departure from Verona nd arrival at Gatwick. Border control at Gatwick was chaotic with long queues for passport checks and baggage reclaim was as slow as ever. Consequently, I didn’t clear the airport until 2:45pm (UK time) and got home just after 5pm meaning that I’d been on the go for almost 12 hours. A cup of tea was needed.
My reflections on the HF Holiday at Selva are that the harder walks were perhaps a little too hard for me and that the easier walks were definitely too easy for me. Something in the middle would have suited me better. Our leaders were a mixed bunch with 2 out of 3 being highly competent whilst the 3rd had much room for improvement.
The Hotel Malleier was fine and the 5 course evening meal was generally okay. My own limited dietary preferences meant that I missed one or two courses at times but I was never hungry and even lost a couple of pounds whilst away.
The big drawback to HF holidays is that you can’t choose your fellow holiday makers. There were a few loud and obnoxious guests on each week which made meal times difficult. Fortunately I was able to escape them whilst out walking by putting some distance between me and them. The issue with guests and the wholly unpleasant airport experience mean that this will probably be my last overseas holiday with HF although I’ll probably continue with their UK houses on a self-led basis.
I don’t want to bore you with pictures that you’ve already seen but these below are what I consider to best represent the holiday. I walked on 12 days covering a total distance of 84 miles with 15,000ft of ascent and 27,000ft of descent.