It's still night time as the first timid sunrays start shining over the mountain tops... those very same I was gazing at yesterday evening at sunset. I try to settle down to squeeze in another half hour of sleep, already knowing that a long day of windsurfing awaits ahead. The fresh Péler starts rushing through with its violent gusts, as forecasted from the previous evening. Looks like they were spot-on! I reach out to grab my smartphone, which is sitting on my white night stand, same color as the rest of the room, just before the alarm goes off at 6:00AM. Still wrapped in the comfort of my warm blanket, I start checking all the different webcams of Garda Trentino, to assess the situation. I always start off by looking at Torbole, as the very first rays start lighting up a cloudless sky, which beautifully cleaned up overnight after powerful thunderstorms. Next up is Capo Reamol's webcam, which already picked up 22-knot-gusts. So far so good, and then the icing on the cake, Malcesine: 20°C air temperature with 25+ knots! It's time to get out of bed!
I had already packed all my equipment in the car the night before, so all I had to do was to creep out of bed in order not to wake my partner up. Throw a shirt on and I'm ready to go. It's, unfortunately, still too early to take advantage of the hotel's renowned "wonder breakfast”, as almost the whole town of Torbole is still asleep, except for Mecki’s, which is the only open bar at dawn, and where I always stop to get my morning coffee. Today, I've decided I'll have my morning session on the east side of the lake, as I'll probably be going to the west coast tomorrow. Malcesine, the crown jewel of the east side, gets windy much earlier than any other spot, especially those on the west coast, which is great as I'd like to be back to the hotel by 11:00 to have a wonderful breakfast with my partner.
I cut the engine on and start driving down towards Malcesine, on the "Gardesana orientale". Few minutes later, I'm already on the famous spot, parking at the renowned “parcheggio di Retelino”. I can barely see anything but the leaves are holding onto the branches for dear life, so I rig my smallest sails without hesitation! I would also have to use my smallest lake-board. I rig everything promptly and comfortably on the grass and then jump off the pier straight into the water. I'm still a little sleepy but after the first crashed trick, the fresh water immeditaly awakens you from the inside out!
For the following few hours, I have a blast windsurfing alongside all my friends, just pure stoke, happiness and total freedom! As exhaustion starts to kick in, I get out of the water to de-rig, pack my car and then go straight back up the very same road I was driving down on just few hours earlier. I arrive at Hotel Santoni, where my partner had just woken up, and we headed down together to enjoy the “wonder breakfast”, both for quality and service.
It's a marvellous day to stroll around Torbole and check out the many local shops. Right in front of the Hotel, we step into Shaka surf shop where Mike and his family welcome us warmly. After saying hello, we move on towards Surf Planet 2, managed by our friend Chiara, who shows us all the latest trends in clothing.
It's already lunchtime so we stop over at Wind’s Bar for one of their salads. The manager, Marco, avid windsurfer and cyclist, tells us the wind direction is already shifting, meaning the legendary Ora is about to show up. We head straight back to the hotel to rest a little bit. Few minutes go by and the curtains start swaying to the breeze, which is getting stronger by the minute. Time to go for another webcam-check, this time in Conca d’Oro. Marco was right, the Ora has shown up on time, as it almost always does, allowing every windsurfer to go out in Torbole. We decide to head over to Conca for our afternoon sesh, leaving the car in the garage to avoid any traffic. We pick our bikes up and, once again, arrive to the spot within minutes. My partner says she'd rather sunbathe right on the water's edge to relax a little, while I go rent my equipment at Shaka Surf Center's school; this afternoon, after freestyling the whole morning, I could really go for some slalom! As the staff at Shaka's promptly hands my the equipment, I'm star-struck looking at some of the top riders I always see tricks and articles of on my favourite windsurfing mag, 4Windsurf. An absolute daydream.
I jump into the water and get on the plane crossing the lake all the way to the other side in one reach, arriving just below Ponale to enjoy the wonderful view of the mountains plummiting straight into the lake.
After a couple of hours, my arms started aching. It was time for some well-deserved rest on the beach. I returned the equipment and joined my partner on the grass, relaxing in the shade. After a little while, it's already Aperitivo-time...nothing better than sipping a cold beer at Conca d’Oro's bar, while watching the sun slowly disapper behind the mountains of the west coast, which are now surrounded by a golden glowing aura.
It's time to get back onto our bikes and head towards the hotel to have a quick shower and get ready to go out for dinner. Along the way though, we noticed a beautiful tiny square, where we discovered a nice cozy boutique were we purchased some souvenirs and typical products. Few meters away, a nice little bar was playing some good music and we couldn't help but going in to have a drink at Happy Hour. To our surprise, we realized we were in an actual wine cellar where owner Gabri, along his sister Cristina, educated us with interesting facts about local wines: welcome to Rèfol.
It was getting dark as we decided to head back to the hotel for a quick shower. Dinner time was upon us and still managed to avoid driving around, as Torbole offers a great selection of quality restaurants, all within walking distance. We just had to pick which one and decided to go to Nuova Garda, a really nice pizzeria just a few meters away from our hotel. After a satisfying dinner, he head back over to Wind's bar, where Marco offered us some of his renowned cocktails. A couple drinks and chat with some friends after, time flew by, just as the first gusts of Peler freshened up the air, as if to remind us to go to bed to be fully prepared for the following action-packed morning! As we walked back to our hotel, we felt really at ease and relaxed, ready for a good night's sleep and doing it all over again the following day.