It is still rather cold at the time I leave. At first it goes 20 km downhill, gloves and headband are still necessary.
But in St. Michael the sun is shining, and already at the beginning of the road to the Katschberg-pass I can take off the jacket. There are only 5 km to the top point, one part 2800 m with 15% slope grade and at last 1500 m with 15% slope grade. In between the slope grade is only 10%. But this is really necessary for the heart rate to come down.
At the top everyting ist quiet like in Obertauern. After a short break I keep going on again with gloves, headband and two jackets down to Kärnten. This part of the way is dangerous because of the steepness and the many holes in the road. I estimate that I here burn up one third of my brake pads.
Down in Rennweg it is warm, and I can take off the jackets. From the Katschberghöhe (top point) to Spittal it is for 30 km only downhill, a wonderful thing for cyclists. This part is wildly romantic, especially because it goes along the foaming Lieser river.
In Spittal I find an ice-cream parlor where I get another Amarena-cup.
I go on through the broad Drau-valley with only few inclines.
The weather is wonderful: sunshine and 22°C (70°F). Even the headwind cannot change my good mood. I'm glad that the weather forecast was not correct this time. They had predicted rain showers until the afternoon.
After two "big" mountain passes I think that I have earned a wellness afternoon in the Villach spa. The old spa (Warmbad Villach), that I knew very well, was torn down some years ago and completely rebuilt. It opened again last year. Now everything is bigger and more fashionable, but not as cozy as then. It got a new name: Kärnten-Therme. But I can relax very well in the sauna.
I set up my tent on a small campground near Villach. Here I get another goulash soup and can write my report.
The first 1000 km are done. Tomorrow I want to cross the Wurzen-pass to Slovenia.