After a restful nights sleep, weary aching joints staggered down to a great breakfast, before heading off at 8am.
Ismael claims today to be the most difficult day of the walk with over 1200 metres of ascent, and 900 metres of descent, food for thought as the body warms up.
The Mont Blanc circuit is essentially 10 days of climbing from the valley up over mountain passes, and back towards the valley each day. Total ascent is about 10,000 metres, and the same descent.
Basically we are going up and down big hills as we sort of circle the Mont Blanc Massif, the group of glacier fields surrounding Mont Blanc itself.
From Les Contamines at 1170m we climbed slowly and steadily up to Croix du Bonhomme at 2443m, through beautiful pine forest, into low covered flooring all with breathtaking scenery to elevate the aches and groans of protesting muscles and joints.
The path we are taking this morning is an old Roman road and the highlight of the morning was crossing an ancient Roman bridge, a magnificent stony arched structure which has stood the test of time admirably.
We stopped for lunch high up in the Alps, munching on baguettes of ham and cheese, or salad, marveling at the vista confronting us.
Tony went so far as to say it was the best lunch of his life! Certainly hard to argue with.
Refreshed, we spent the next three hours slowly winding our way down the valley to our destination at Les Chapieux 1549m, a tiny village comprising of only a handful of stone cottages and two small hotels.
Ours, Les Chambres du Soleil, was a wonderful family run two story hotel/pension with a great patio to enjoy a beer or wine, and a freezing stream out the back which some prevailed upon to ease out the soreness in tired limbs, with a beer in hand of course.
Is Declan feeling a bit bushed ? Or did he just get the Swans bad news ?