We’ll, we’ve finished our circumnavigation of the Mont Blanc massif, the Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) and what a wonderful time we have all had, scrambling up hill then back down dale, all the while following that gliding, cat like navigator, Ismael.
As a group we were very well prepared, having trained hard on the massive mountain ranges around the Mornington Peninsula(!), but it was still a tough challenge, abate with a stunning backdrop to gaze at while regaining breath and equilibrium.
Here are a few reflections on the walk, and what may be required to do it in comfort, and fewer blisters!
# You can’t train too much. No one ever failed from training hard, and you won’t have to worry about recovery each day. Also, train as much for going down hill as up. Down hills can be a killer on the knees, quads and hips.
# Wear good comfortable boots. We saw folks wearing sneakers, and when it rains (and it will) sneakers get wet…and when they are wet guess what happens? Blisters. No fun!
# Prépare for all weather conditions. We only had one day of rain, but when it came so did the wind and it got cold. Good wet weather gear, and warm layers will make for much more pleasant dinner conversation.
# Speaking of clothes, I can’t speak highly enough of super-fine merino t-shirts and tops. They don’t smell, ever! And buff’s are great, as a neck warmer, head band or wrist band.
# Poles! Almost everyone carried them, most used them, and those that did agreed they help…and Ismael uses them all the time, so they must be good!!
# Voltarin was the drug of choice! Plus magnesium and/or Endura mixed with water.
# WiFi isn’t great in all places, so just talk to people and forget the phone.
# The track is well signposted, and incredibly clean. Everyone seems to respect the environment and it shows.
# Don’t expect to lose weight on this walk…the food, beer and wine are much too good to ignore.
# Chamonix isn’t the cheapest place in France, so maybe save yourself some grief and buy your gear before you get there. There’s plenty of choice, with a lot of dollars signs attached!
# Bring a camera, it WILL get used A LOT!
# Enjoy, take your time, soak in the beauty, talk to your friends, laugh, eat, drink…have a fabulous time in an incredible environment.
# Thank you No Roads for organising this wonderful walk, from Peter and Irene to all the staff in the office, a very well run machine! Thanks to Ismael for gliding us (I mean…guiding us!) effortlessly, he has a great passion and respect for the alps and it shows. And, of course, thanks to all our walking team. It was an experience of a life time which we loved, and loved doing with you all. You are all great friends and we love you all.
SO…what now for the rest of the day? How about a bit of paragliding?
Tony, Leeanne, Lucy, Gemma, Rachael and I slid off the side of a hill to soar around the side of the alps for 30 minutes or so. Exhilarating!
Lunch, shop, then maybe a drink or two on adjoining balconies.
Then a special treat for Liz, Rachael and I as we had a reunion with one of our trek buddies, Mike, from our last No Roads trip to Nepal last year. It was great to catch up with a ripping fella, and meet his wife Deidre, who then braved dinner with a bunch of Aussies at a fabulous restaurant in Town, Munchies.
If you visit Chamonix, go to Munchies. The best meal of our trip.
Now, on to Paris to continue our fabulous adventure.