All posts tagged: Switzerland

Day Nine – Triente – Argentiere

( 6 hours – 18kms) Once again our group promptly hit breakfast at 7.30 sharp, followed by the 8.30 bus to our starting point of Triente, snuggled down in the valley with ominous mountain ranges surrounding us on three sides. The weather in the valley was cool but we are expecting hot and humid conditions all day with the threat of thunderstorms and foul weather forecast for tomorrow. With this in mind there is a real chance that we may have to abandon our walk a day early, so all were very keen and excited to be hitting the track. Said track went straight up, switchback after switchback, cool breeze turning into a humid swamp, turning a rough enough climb into a sweat box challenge. Regular short breaks to mop down, before finally reaching the Col de Balme at 2191 metres, and the border between Switzerland and France. More Aussie border excitement, lots of photos, spectacular views and a lovely cooling breeze. Maybe a selfie? A leap of faith… Finally, a leisurely walk to our …

Day Eight – Champex-Lac to Col De La Forclaz

(6 hours – 18kms) Well, Hotel Spendide was just that, comfy beds, lovely meals and stupendous balcony views; we could have stayed for ever…but the trail waits for no man, or woman! The weather was fine and quite warm as we stroll around the lake, trout safely resting from vigilant fisher persons Through the forest lanes till encountering the obligatory hill to our beautiful lunch spot looking down on the Rhône Valley. We haven’t got tired of the luncheon views, that’s for sure. Another corner, another outrageous vista! Fuel for winter Morning tea! 45 minutes digesting baguettes and views, then downhill to our finish point today at Col De La Forclaz, which would normally be our pit stop for the night at the roadside refuge, but our number is too large, so we are being bussed down to the large town of Martigny, which nestles in the heart of the Swiss Rhône Valley. Martigny if famous for its local wines, the vines of which cling precariously to the side of the steep hills, winding roads …

Day Seven – La Fouly – Champex-Lac

(4 hours – 14kms) Today is the shortest walk of the tour, only 4 hours, mainly following the valley, with a short sharp 450 metre climb to our hotel next to Champex Lac. Breakfast in the boarding house dining room, a team photo on the hotel steps and off at precisely 8.19! We are nothing if not prompt! Ismael has never seen such attention to detail. All jokes aside, the Hotel was really good, serving up a different experience to what we have experienced to date, and very comfortable and accommodating. Shrugging off the ghosts of boarding houses passed, we strolled down the valley, setting a leisurely pace as we have become accustomed to the gentle cadence of the days walk, following our gliding guide, Ismael. Through Swiss villages featuring brillant wooden doors, and wonderful shutters framed with flower boxes flowing with red geraniums. Probably the highlight was the gnome garden, which from all accounts has being growing year by year. More pine forest wandering, then up the hill to Champex-Lac, and our wonderful accommodation, …

Day Six – Val Ferret – La Fouly

(6 hours – 20kms) We finally leave the Hotel Crampon this morning after three lovely nights with tremendous hosts. The highlight of breakfast was Leeanne’s statement that she was contemplating an AFD (Alcohol Free Day) today! Once the giggles stopped we settled back to our breakfast of fruit, muesli & croissants. After yesterdays shambles with the bus, Ismael organised a mini bus transfer back to the same starting point. Tick! Our route today takes us slowly up the valley and onto the ridge which climbs gradually, and consistently, up towards the saddle which marks, invisibly, the border between Italy and Switzerland. Once again, excited Australians straddling the two countries for a photo opportunity. Ismael then took us into Switzerland and up the top of a nearby hill which offered great views down the valley to our nights destination, la Fouly. After another photo opportunity, Ismael noticed the crowd of walkers strolling down towards our lunch stop at a small farm, and declared a state of emergency. We needed to hoof it down the hill, passing …