For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move. ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Day 41: Orsières To Bourg Saint-Pierre (1)

A last look back at Orsières. The early morning sun is just starting to brighten the slopes, but most of the village still remains in shadow. 

I had gained an altitude of 900 m, but still had 1600 m to climb over the next two days.

It was a fantastic day's walking through wonderful panoramas: grey, bare-topped mountains with pine-clad lower slopes, snowy peaks, deep valleys, rushing streams and rivers. The temperatures were typical mountain temperatures — very hot in the sun, but quite cool in the shade. 

Doll's house chalet (with flag!).

I walked through the hamlets of Montatuay . . .

. . . and Fornex . . .

. . . climbing higher and higher above the river Dranse.

Distant, snow-patched mountains urged me on . . .

The Via Francigena is signed much more widely and efficiently here. Well, of course — this is Switzerland!

I crossed a bridge high over a gorge — the stream water was now much clearer, and sparkling, rather than a dull milky green — and returned to the valley floor. This is the village of Dranse . . .

. . . comprising the familiar short-spired church and chalet-style houses with overhanging roofs . . . 

It was a tiring route with plenty of ups and downs. Here I'm climbing again — up a switchback road from Dranse . . .

. . . to Liddes, where I sat on the step of this church door to eat my picnic lunch . . . 

. . . of bread (soft on the inside and crusty on the outside with sprinkled grains and seeds), Emmental cheese, red wine (left over from the night before), pumpernickel and lightly-smoked prosciutto. Could any outdoor lunch be better? — particularly with such a grandstand view of the mountains.

7 comments:

am said...

I see John Muir walking along with you in spirit:

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.”

(John Muir, The Mountains of California)

I've always thought of myself person who loves walking along ocean coastlines best, but seeing your photographs reminds me how much I love walking in the mountains.

Thank you so much!

Ruth said...

Now these vistas are reminding me of my hike from Lauterbrunnen to Wengen. Do you know the names of any of the distant peaks?

Is that a Swiss [army] knife? :)

BTW, we get that pumpernickel in our supermarket, a German brand. Very hearty for toast.

Amanda Summer said...

There is no better restaurant, nor better company.

The Solitary Walker said...

Yes, a beautiful quote from John Muir, Am. Walking along coastlines, walking in the mountains — all good, and I can never get enough!

The Solitary Walker said...

I hardly know the names of any of the peaks, Ruth — except the unmistakable Dents du Midi you can see from Montreux:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dents_du_Midi

Yes, that's A Swiss army knife — fairly new, as my old one got confiscated by airport customs a few years ago!

The Solitary Walker said...

PS Swiss army knife — very useful for picking out stones from horse's hooves, which, of course, happens all the time :)

The Solitary Walker said...

Cheers, Amanda (*swigs wine from plastic bottle*)...