YOU can still have awesome outdoor adventures in the rain.
Being adventurous is simply a mindset – a determination to overcome obstacles and squeeze every last drop of fun out of any situation.
And that is the approach my brother Adam and I have taken to the first three days of our trip to Lake Garda with Canvas Holidays.
The weather has been, well, dramatic – thunder has roared, fork lightning has flashed and torrential downpours have soaked everything in sight. But the adventure show has continued. While other gloomy holidaymakers have wrapped themselves in blankets, looking up from their sun beds accusingly at the grey skies, we’ve been out exploring the best Lake Garda has to offer. Mountain trekking, lakeside walks, refreshing swims and paddle boarding have been on the adventure menu – and every tasty course has satisfied our hunger for outdoorsy excitement.
Lake Garda is an amazing place for such activities. It is an almost never-ending expanse of water surrounded by mountains and craggy cliffs. The classy, postcard perfect landscape has spawned an immense tourist industry and attracts innumerable romancing couples and families alike – but it is also a Mecca for water sports fans, mountain bikers and outdoor enthusiasts.
And, with a bit of planning, it is possible to escape the crowds, get away from it all and experience your own slice of Lake Garda’s magic.
That’s exactly what we did when we climbed Monte Baldo – the imposing ridge of lofty peaks on the eastern shores of the lake. One scenic boat ride and one rapid cable car ascent later, we were walking in and out of the clouds on the impressive trail to the 2,218-metre summit of Cima Valdritta. We were alone, bar a handful of majestic ibex, clambering along rocky paths, enjoying glimpses down to the bright blue lake and experiencing a peaceful, rugged place all to ourselves. It was a long, tiring but brilliant day out and – to round it off perfectly – a stunning rainbow appeared by Gargnano during our return boat journey.
Despite our exhaustion, we were eager for more and back at our campsite (Camping Eden) in Portese we began planning our next adventure. Sat on the terrace of our slick, contemporary Moda holiday home, which has beautiful views down to the lake, we decided tomorrow it was time to get up and close personal with the water.
Paddle boarding was our choice of sport and Picenze beach the location. We were both virgins of the discipline and felt a little anxious about how frequently we’d be wiping out into the cold yet refreshing lake. But, in fact, it was easier than expected. We both picked it up quickly and miraculously – due to the drizzly rain – we had the whole bay to ourselves. It was a superb experience – tranquil yet invigorating, like we were walking on water and becoming as one with the lake. We explored around 150-metre high sheer cliffs and rounded a small island before racing back to the shores, satisfied with another quality day of outdoor fun.
Plodding home I glanced at my phone and read a text from my wife. She had burnt herself in the glorious English weather back home. Normally such an admission would have sent me into a fit of jealousy and frustration – but I just brushed it off.
Here in Lake Garda the adventuring is world class come rain or shine, if you’ve got the right mindset.