This was meant to be an easy going day …..
We left Champex alongside its lovely lake and headed to the pastures of the Swiss enjoying a semi-rural life. Karyn was fascinated by the agricultural equipment – trying to work out which piece did what and the movements of the equipment to achieve its intended purpose. An industrial designer at heart me thinks!
We were heading to La Chable via Soulalex and La Garde and Sembrancher but of course we couldn’t get to Sembrancher without making a climb up a mountain to visit the Chapel of St Jean – have I mentioned I’m aethist – why was I doing this to myself??? If there was one thing that the little detour provided it was a confirmation of how the Catholics love to ensure their parishioners practice penance even if they don’t realise they’re doing it!
Trekked down to Sembrancher to see some wonderful barns built in the 17th century – Karyn was also able to make out the signs for the local bell maker. On our way out of town we passed a barn hiding Santa’s sleigh (obviously no great secret in those parts as it wasn’t terribly well hidden) and a tannery perched above the river.
On our final substantial ascent toward La Chable we passed a large timber cross bearing the phrase “Jews frappe a ta Porte” – I knock on your door. The way I was feeling I felt I may be close to converting and knocking on the door!
It was a relief to arrive into La Chable. I had really questioned along the walk whether I was going to make it through the days to come given how I felt after this ‘easy day’.
Karyn took the opportunity to go up the cable cars where she got a birds eye view of where we were heading the next day. I chose to stay in the room and stretch!
The weather was delightful. I was confident it would stay for our next stage, the big walk up to the Cabane du Mont Fort – anything with the word ‘mont’ in it had to mean it was going to hurt….