Posted by: Richard | June 25, 2009

Day 8: To Les Contamines

June 20: This was a short days walk out of Chamonix and to the end of the valley, getting ready for some great walking over the next four days.

We were up late as the walk was only about 6 hours.  Although my feet were better, they were still blistered, only now they were healing (whereas a few days earlier they were all raw skin).

It’s crazy to think that I did this days exact walk (and day 9 as well) in 2002 when I did the Tour de Mont Blanc.  I remembered almost nothing of the walk other than the hotel at the Col de Voza (and even that I recalled as having a outdoor pool).  I am mystified that I can have forgotten so much.

Today was walking up past the ski areas of Les Houches and then down through a series of tiny villages.  I don’t much care for low altitude walking.  The biggest complaint is that the lower altitudes have much more vegetal growth along the paths.  This additional growth makes the walk damper, hotter and provides us with a steady stream of bugs who are attracted to our foreign blood….

We had a strange encounter about 30 minutes outside of Les Contamines.  A relatively crazy man came up and directed us on the path into town.  Both Lynn and I got a very weird vibe off of the guy, as he seemed a bit crazy.  I slowed us down as I didn’t like the guy, and he kept looking back at us.  At one point I got very dizzy and thought back to the time I was gassed on a train in Europe in 1999 and thought that this guy might be trying to gas us and rob us.  We slowed down further and meandered into town.

Upon reaching Les Contamines, this crazy bugger was waiting for us, asking where we were staying that night and walking the next day.  We told him we didn’t know, and walked uphill to a pleasant little guesthouse just as it started to rain.  We went out for some fixings from the supermarket and had a picnic on our bed looking outside on to the beautiful mountains and rain outside.  Lynn and  I went to bed listening to a Hercule Poirot mystery on our ipod.

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