I looked into the mirror and saw the aftermaths of yesterday’s evening at the campground. I definitely didn’t feel like 22 again! Allthough Devon and I left early it somehow must have been a hard night for me.
The weather was only average with clouds hanging in the sky when I started hiking from La Fouly to Champex-Lac. This part of the TMB in Switzerland was supposed to be the easiest day of the tour with not much climbing and easy hiking mostly along the Val Ferret. After all the strenuous ascents and descents of the tour so far I was looking forward to a day of easy going and dreaming along the way!
Hiking on a cloudy day
I hiked out of La Fouly and said goodbye to David, a runner I got to know during our traditional raclette dinner yesterday. He was apparently running and I thought I would never see him again.
The trail left the road and turned into the small path I was used too and very soon started climbing up. Wasn’t this supposed to be an easy day?! The path followed the side of the mountain, mostly through forest. I leapfrogged most of the time with some of the Israelian guys I had met before. Very soon the trail levelled off and for a while it was an undulating hike along the sometimes quite steep mountainside.
Le Praz Fort
One of the attractions and something that made this day different from all the others was Le Praz Fort, a small hamlet directly on trail. Walking through the wooden and often decorated alpine houses was an experience itself. Can you spot the cat on my second photo after this text?
It was downhill and through the valley before short after the village Issert the final climb towards Champex-Lac began. In the small village of Issert some fellow hikers sat crunched together in a local restaurant eating spaghetti. My stomach told me with a loud noise that it would actually be a good idea. But as there was no free seat left I just hiked on aiming for a late lunch in Champex.
The only other attraction of this hiking day was a cave next to the trail. I guess I just saw the entrance by accident and it would be easy to shoot past and miss it. Curious as I am I went into the cave for a little look around. The cave was surprisingly big and would have been a nice place in the rain or even for spending the night. Unfortunately it was obvious that the cave had been used as toilet before. It was disgusting and I had to watch my step to make sure I don’t take any bad memories from this place. One more time I realized that “Leave no trace” principles are not very well-known in Europe!
I arrived at Champex-Lac around 2:30pm. The lake was much smaller as expected but looked nice. A little bit of sunshine was missing, though! To get to my destination for the day – Gite Bon Abri – I had to walk past the lake, through Champex-Lac and a little bit further up the trail to Champex-en-haute. But I was hungry and so I stopped right in the center at a fancy looking restaurant. I ordered some pasta and a cool drink and ignored the ridiculously high prices of Switzerland.
The food was good and my stomach felt ready to explode when I grabbed my backpack and hiked the last two kilometers to Gite Bon Abri.
Gite Bon Abri
At Gite Bon Abri I met Devon again and we made plans for the rest of the tour. Our schedule would be pretty much the same from now on.
Dinner at the Gite was really good consisting of a soup, rice with pasta sauce and some kind of sweet dessert I don’t remember right now. (I am not too big a fan of sweet stuff). Having wolfed down a big plate of pasta in the afternoon, I was surprised how much I could eat again. Typical hiker hunger!
It was the time of the soccer world championship and so the whole refuge came together to watch the game Brasil against Sweden on a small computer screen. It was great fun! Maybe not so much for the Brasil girl in our rows. Next time…
Devon and I were chatting with Andreas, the owner of Gite Bon Abri. He was a nice guy and being married to a German he could talk some German with me! Short before we went to bed, he gave us two green TMB shirts as a gift. I am now the proud owner of a TMB shirt! And even better – it’s with the signatures of all the amazing people I met during my hike!
A cold, cold night
When I booked my bed at Gite Bon Abri I opted for the cheapest option which was basically a camp bed in a party tent – outside! Andreas told me it would get cold and that the last people staying at the tent came into the house in the middle of the night.
I thought I was fine with camping. How wrong I was… My night in this tent was my coldest night on the trail and I did sleep approximately two hours or less. I wish I would have had someone to kuddle with 😉
–> next post: Day 8 – Champex-Lac to Trient
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