After watching a documentary on Chamonix, it has been somewhere I’d fancied visiting. The doc was about adventurers living on the edge and doing seriously frightening runs down mountains on skis at breakneck speeds, sadly that’s exactly what happened and many have died chasing their dream run.
We did have our very own near death experience in Chamonix and no skis included. and completely free. As we waited for the bus into town, (not using Grigio…way too cold) a car pulled up and an old lady…..had to be 85 at least screamed to a halt and dropped the window and asked “Chamonix” Yes we replied so she beckoned us in. No way was I refusing after the boat incident in Annecy or Amanda would be jumping ship, so no thoughts for personal safety, in we hopped and she literally scared the bejeezus out of us. Turning round to talk to us, the bloody car was veering off the road left and right. Honestly that 3 minute ride was almost as good as a black run down Mt Blanc. She was so sweet and SO bloody dangerous. WTF are these people drinking here, they thrive on chasing near death experiences , so first stop after the drive was the nearest bathroom before exploring the town ON FOOT. Next day, off we went to find our own little adventure on a much smaller scale and with our tiring bodies intact. Bugger, unfortunately between high winds and rain, the view to those monumental alpine mountains were, for the most part obscured. The temps plummeted to overnight temps of 2 degrees….way to bloody cold for us I’m afraid so after 2 nights shivering beneath the duvet we relented and agreed to move on to some sunshine and more mountains. On another note, Amanda and I made a pact to limit our alcohol input to just one bottle a day between us. Begrudgingly I agreed, I just didn’t stipulate what size bottle. Battling the cold, I offered to share half of my botttle (5 liters) of white port with her lol it gets better, she doesn’t like it…oh happy days 🤣🤣🤣
On route to some sun and warmer climes, we headed toward St Germain and bivouacked under some mountains with clear weather and a hope for some good hiking, good eating, and some vino to enhance the experience. A lovely town (CLOSED) completely for a public holiday….how dare they, and us all the way from Oz ! So next morning after some nice food and even nicer vino, we set off to find them there hills………and boy did we get what we were looking for. Sunshine, serenity, sweat, and superb scenery but more about that a little later folks.
Off we went in search of our own little piece of paradise up in the high country of the Swiss Alps. We left the relative safety of the valley and headed upwards. I really didn’t expect the driving to be quite as exhilarating as this turned out to be…….Madamme Granny from Chamonix would have made short work of it in her hotted up Corolla and no doubt lived to tell the tale. For Pinot though it was a white knuckle one hour thrill of a ride with tunnels, viaducts, single track roads. I loved every minute of it ! Amanda from the safety of the navigators chair continued cooing and photographing all the way up. At 1,600 metres, ( that’s damned high in the old money) we found a cracker of a village called Grimentz, caught between the winter ski season and the Summer high octane thrill seeking season. We are so lucky being able to choose when and where! Our chosen site (the only site) in the area to stay is basically a large carpark with power and water with the most stunning views from our lounge room window of the high alps. Oh and we also get as part of the 15 euro a night charge, free buses throughout the 7 villages of Val d’Annivers region. Plus free Funicular ( that’s a train up a mountainside on a cable basically) I know you all knew that, but just in case. Free Tennis, Swimming pool (heated of course) and mini golf, however we won’t be playing that again, since I decided to retire unbeaten in Portugal. S0me of these old homes and barns in the centre of town were built in the 16th century. The blackened wooden houses are mostly made from Larch and are adorned with beautiful fire red Geraniums. A day well spent and time to finish that bottle before Amanda takes me up some Mountain tomorrow.St Luc …the planet walk and beyond.
We like to get value for money and Amanda worked out a day which included 2 bus rides and a trip up on the Funicular….and you know what that is, followed by a VERY LONG days hiking up to 3,000 metres. The walk which Amanda initially planned was reasonably level along a stunning ridge called the Planet Pat, which is a scaled down version of the Solar System. The distances between the heavenly bodies are to scale. Each metre corresponds to 1 million k’s in reality. As for speed, the time you take to cover the 13k distance, is equivalent to 3 x times the speed of light.
The 13k walk was stunning enough but Amanda wasn’t happy with that and raised the stakes a little. We ended up at 3,000 metres altitude with breathtaking vistas of the 4,500 metre peaks of the Valais Alps. These mountains are seriously awe inspiring. Apparently we were looking toward the Matterhorn, but we couldn’t agree on which was which ha ha. We has a seriously long, arduous day and our knees and hips have taken a few days to recover. Worth every single ache.
Pictures honestly can’t do justice to this place and my command of English isn’t good enough to describe its Majesty, but we will leave you with some pictures anyway.
Cheers and love to all x