DAY TEN: CHAMPEX TO COL DE LA FORCLAZ

Left Champex, walking the Bovine route to col de la Forclaz, and not the much more strenuous Fenetre de l’Arp route.
Even this route was hard for me for a couple of hours up, not the graded switchbacks of the prior passes either, like straight up, over rocks. I found another yoga trick helped, of breathing out on the step if I had to step up over a high rock or tree root.
But coming out finally above the tree line was a total Sound of Music beautiful alpine meadow.
Wound around this shoulder for not nearly long enough to another cowshed buvette where we had omelettes.
Then down and down AND down to the hotel de la Forclaz, which surprised me by being right on the side of a fairly busy highway. I’d gotten totally unused to such things.

For the first time we met some Americans–a Marine from Quantico and his 19-year-old son and the marine’s brother from Seattle and a rather nutty American who lived in Europe- and ate dinner with them. There was some friendly one-upping–I’ll see your Kilamanjaro and raise you Anapurna–but it was OK. Just nice to have strangers to talk to for once.
Jeff did overhear our friends the horrid Brits in this hotel as well, loudly complaining about the facilities. One insisted that he had been promised “en suite” facilities, of which there were none so he couldn’t have them. He shouted at the French hotel keeper, “The name’s Scarborough. Spelled like the town.” What a twit! Like a French hotel keeper would know this insignificant English town, which defies all possible logic in its spelling.

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