Thursday, 23 July 2009
Marmots and Mont Blanc
Marmots and Mont Blanc
Morning begins with a couple of chocolate pains and brioche, ordered with the owner the previous evening, delivered to the site, and ready to collect from 8am, about an hour after we get up! Brioche and coffee are brill! Why don’t I do sweet breakfasts at home? I’ll realise that when I’m on a diet again, when we get back home! They also do a Pain Beaufortain, which is a baguette stuffed with Beaufort hard, strong cheese, walnuts and lardons (like strong-tasting pieces of cured smoked ham).
After provisioning up in pretty Beaufort on our second gloriously sunny morning, and finding that the local Tourist Info does Wi-Fi, or as they say here, Wee-Fee!, we start on our first walk into the mountains.
Up the Cormet de Roselend in the van, along hair-pin bends, with breath-taking scenery. We walked up to the Crete des Gittes, onto the Refuge de la Croix Bonhomme, with views of ….well everything! Les Arcs mountains, the Aiguille de Grand Fond behind us, and Mont Blanc ahead! Absolutely superb. The previous day, quite frankly Ian had stuffed up! Bless him! He thought he’d found a cracking route up near the Lake. There were one or two discrepancies, but he was confident he could find a good route. Two hours later we were back at the van. We’d walked up the road for a mile, a couple of miles on a fairly uninspiring track, past an Acces Interdite sign, which should have told us something, up to a very big dam holding back a very beautiful lake. We wouldn’t know! We only saw the wall and had to walk back the same way! As you can imagine, Ian got his ear chewed off. Comments like “Why can’t we follow normal, if busy, routes like normal people do?” were bandied about!
Anyway, today we’d stuck to a well-known GR route, and the outcome was totally different. The best ridge route I think I’ve ever been on, with 360deg of breath-taking views, alpine meadows and flowers, cows with their bells tinkling about, even snow nearer the tops, in response to the recent downpour up here. And the Marmots. Cute, little, fat, alpine-versions of Meerkats, which bob up and down, squeeking vehemently when they sense danger. Adoreable!!
In addition, the natives are extremely friendly, and I think I’m so in love with the place I might even stretch to a cycle up to the Cormet de Roselend in a couple of days. Maybe it’s time to finish now as the wine is clearly starting to affect my better judgment!