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by Alain Hoffmann

The Fortress of the Eagles - part 1

Difficulty: 3
Danger: 3-4
Views: 3-4
Interest 3-4
Suitable for: All Landrovers except the "Track in the Sky". Drivers not to be afraid of height.
Time needed: a full day for all the parts

(The track profile to the right does not show the first part of the track. In fact the readings start at about half way up the "Track in the Skies". So total distance to the Col de Tende is closer to 60 or even 70 km.)

If you have driven the first part of this roadbook:

Back to page 3 of part 1 From Waypoint 89 drive down the tarmac all the way until you reach at the bottom of the valley the main road from Ventimiglia to Pigna, waypoint 81. Turn towards Pigna. Follow the main road SP65 past Pigna and up the mountains. At waypoint 102 you reach this roadsign (picture right). Turn left towards Colle Melosa.

If you come up the road from Ventimiglia directly: About 10 km after having passed Dolceaqua a road comes from the left. Drive straight on. This is waypoint 81. Turn towards Pigna. Follow the main road SP65 past Pigna and up the mountains. At waypoint 102 you reach this roadsign (picture right). Turn left towards Colle Melosa.

Waypoint 103: You pass some huts and soon tarmac ends. A warning sign (picture right) limits the lenght of trucks travelling this road to 6 metres! Soon afterwards you pass some deep water runoffs.
Now the road runs on the mountain flanks. Still absolutely no problem if you watch the road and not the fantastic views.
Waypoint 104: Great views of the surrounding landscape and the track you just passed.

Waypoint 105. You pass a weathered sign and drive left on the intersection.

Waypoint 106: Straight on. A track turns off to the left.

Waypoint 107: In a large curb take the right track.

Waypoint 108: You pass some ruins.

Waypoint 109: You follow the roadsigns to Triora and Monesi (straight on)

Waypoint 110: If for some reason you want to call it a day you can turn off to Rialdo and Triora to the right. Else take the track straight on.

Waypoint 111: Near a cross take the turn right. As you can see there was some signpost maniac at work on this spot.

Waypoint 113: On this spot you must decide which way you want to take.

The track to the right is the main track. It stays on italian ground, passes a 300 metres long tunnel and reaches the other track later on.

The track left is the west route around Mont Saccarel. It's badly eroded. A few hundred metres further there are large stones put on the track to block it off so I suspect it is not allowed to drive it anyway. Later it runs way up a bare mountain flank. You don't want to be in this spot if weather changes. There aren't even trees to catch you if you slip off the track. So if you are clever you take the right track which is more than an hour shorter than the western route.

Click here for Mt. Saccarel
Click here for the better route.