Monday, June 23, 2014

Martigny to Orsieres June 23

                                                                               Current Day.                     Trip to Date

Distance walked- miles.                                            14.3.                                  553.2

Gross climb- feet.                                                    2920.                                41,217

Song of the Day:  Rocky Ground by Bruce Springsteen

(I'm a soldier!) 
We've been traveling over rocky ground, rocky ground 

Today was the first of four days climbing over the Alps.  When planning this trip, the walk over the Alps was something I really was looking forward to.  Unfortunately, the St Bernard pass doesn't open until June 15 due to snow, and so we ended up delaying the Alps portion until after we had walked to Rome.

We were lucky today- when we awoke, it was a clear, sunny morning.  Extensive rain showers over the Alps were in the weather forecast for the day.  Fortunately for us, it didn't start to rain until later this afternoon, after we had already arrived at our hotel in Orsieres.  Orsieres is a small mountain town of about 2500 people in the lower Alps.

The hike today was largely through a very narrow pass, with steep mountains on both sides.  At the bottom of the pass was a river, as well as a fairly busy highway and a train track.  From time to time, we would descend into a small village down below.

Our walk was often on a very narrow trail hugging the side of the mountain:

We then went through a very rocky area.  It was very hard to discern the trail, and we had to constantly look for the painted chevrons to know where to go.  This type of walking is slow and very hard on the ankles.

I call this the "no shit" photo:

This would have been a very difficult and dangerous walk in the rain, but fortunately was a challenging and enjoyable walk in the conditions we had. Probably the closest similar hike we have experienced is through Zion National Park.  But,  not with a big pack on our backs and not for 14 miles.

At 2900 feet, this hike had the most ascent since we climbed over the Appenine's to Cassio on May 22.  We will be climbing over 3500 feet each of the next two days.  The weather forecast is for rain over the next few days, although hopefully will be similar to the last few days- nice in the morning, with rain in the afternoon.

Our hotel is another restaurant/hotel combo.  Not a great hotel, but they do have a good hot shower, and what appears to be a reasonably comfortable bed. Tonight, we will check out the quality of the restaurant.   There are three other restaurants in town, but two were closed on Monday's and the other was closed for vacation for two weeks!

On the sporting front:  tough tie by the USA in world cup soccer last night.  Portugal tied the game 2-2 with 30 seconds left in the game.  Now it's on to Germany on Thursday. By the way, what kind of sport ends in a tie? My SF Giants are hopefully getting back on track after winning the last two games against Arizona. 

1 comment:

  1. Good one Mike for such a challenging day no rain was a lucky break . What was the name of your Orsieres hotel ?