Posted by: Richard | July 14, 2009

Day 18: To La Chalp

June 2: Well we thought this was going to be an easy day after some of the marathons we had done coming into Briancon.  Lynn and I even thought about taking an hour to do some internet in Briancon before starting.  Alas, we decided to get going (though later than normal) on a hot hot day.

Sometimes the path of the GR5 is frustrating, and today was one of the worst.  We walked down a main street and turned off for a 40 minute loop in the hills with no discernible views or importance.  After the 40 minutes, we ended up about 5 minutes from where we left the road originally.  We felt like real suckers when we realized that we had just wasted so much time.

The entire day was tough, as the high was forecast to be 34 degrees.  We didn’t realize it then, but heat is a real killer in these walks, adding an hour or two to a day where there is extreme heat.

I don’t remember much of the day, but I do remember coming into the town we were to stay at, Brunissard.  A friendlydutch couple who are doing the second half of the GR5 mentioned that their guide said there were better lodgings 15 minutes past Brunissard, in La Chalp.  We weren’t keen on a Gite (like a hostel) so we continued into La Chalp.

Ohhhhh, were we ever rewarded as we came into a hotel (La Ferme de L’Izoard) that is in the incredible guide ‘Inns of Character and Charm inFrance’.  The hotel had a outdoor pool, jacuzzi, sauna and best of all STEAM ROOM (called Hammam in France, like in Morocco).  This was fantastic for us, as Lynn and I moved from outdoor pool to steam room to pool and back.  Heaven.

The hotel also had free internet, as if life couldn’t get any better. 

On thinking of this post, I think that it is kind of funny that a great day hiking in the Alps in perfect weather is overshadowed by free internet a pool and a steam room.  I was like this when I was 11 years old as well, the trip was secondary, it was the pool at the motel or the free movies….ha!

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