Day 24 – Wednesday, August 21 – Salvagny to Refuge Moede Anterne – 16.5 km
I had really strange dreams last night. Maybe it was the food? Idk. Just really strange.
I got up around 3:30 to go to the bathroom and Olivier’s mattress was blocking the hall. Apparently he was having a rough night. Michel snores.
Breakfast was good. I paid and got ready, and was out the door by 8:20. It was still quite overcast and cloudy, but I figured that I would eventually get above the clouds. It’s kind of a shame, because I would like to see what the mountains look like. They seem to be quite craggy, and there are lots of waterfalls. But maybe all the waterfalls contribute to all the low clouds.
There was a lot, a lot of up today. But it was actually really good. My legs were a bit stiff after the rest, but I didn’t feel sluggish.
About an hour in, I came to a big waterfall. I had the choice of going up the side or crossing in front and going up the road. I chose to go up the side simply because I didn’t want to get wet from the spray. It was pretty steep, and probably not very safe.
I got up to a point where there was a huge parking lot for the main trailhead. There are two main hikes from this area. The GR 5 and the GR 96, both going to different areas.
It took me past another waterfall.
The path turned and headed back along the side of the mountain. The clouds started to clear, or I got above the clouds. I could see back down to Salvagny.
I finally came out on top of the first Col. The sight was amazing. The sky was clear, it was beautiful, it seemed like the perfect day.
The first refuge was at the end of this valley, before heading up to the next Col. Refuge Alfred Wills. I had caught up with Olivier and walked with him for a while. We both decided to stop and get some blueberry tart as a treat. It was 6 E. It was very tasty, but I’m not sure if it was a good thing or not. I felt a bit sluggish afterward.
Bernard stopped by as well. I left before both of them, but I knew Bernard would catch me.
The next Col showed the lake Anterne. The path closer to the lake, which I took, was through very marshy land. My feet got wet a few times. It was hard to avoid.
I started up again to the next Col, but it wasn’t really the col yet. It’s always very exciting. What views are you going to see? I knew Mont Blanc would feature prominently at some point today. But there was still more to go up and across. Still all gorgeous.
I finally got to the top of the col, and there is was. Holy Cow. Mont Blanc is so close! So much closer than it looks in the pictures. I just can’t even believe how perfect this day is. I can’t believe I’m here.
I could see the refuge at the bottom of the mountain. Bernard did catch up with me, but he descended much more quickly than I did. It’s partly my knees and partly because I don’t want to fall again.
I checked in about 3:30, but apparently we can’t take showers? The showers are working, but the chef says whether we can shower or not, and right now he says no. I don’t understand! There are also no electrical outlets. This could make things interesting for the Tour.
So as soon as I decided I would take a baby wipe bath, they started allowing showers. I had already changed, though. It is what it is. At least I’m semi clean! This is why it’s important to have 3 sets of underwear. Hopefully they will have enough time to dry tomorrow.
They got my dinner order wrong. I had ordered cheese fondue, and they had me down for the sausage and polenta. I probably should have let them give me that. The place settings were different, and people who weren’t getting fondue got a piece of cheese and some soup. I ate some soup before I realized I wasn’t supposed to, but I ate the cheese anyway. I ate a lot of cheese tonight. So much cheese. Now that I’ve had the fondue, I don’t think I’ll get it again on purpose. It’s just a lot of cheese and bread, and not much else.
Olivier, Bernard, Michel and I were all sat together at dinner. I don’t understand why. It must have been a complete coincidence. Or maybe because we were all in the same sleeping area, but others in the area weren’t sitting with it. It was just kind of odd, but appreciated. I mean, we had all made the reservations at different times, and they wouldn’t have known we were kind of walking together.