A passing hiker took this candid photo of me on the trail today!
As I crossed the border from Italy to Switzerland, my body told me it wanted to slow down a bit and stop every 12.5 minutes or so to blankly stare at something new and extraordinary (Now I was in Switzerland!), take a picture, or eat a small snack. I didn’t mind complying and decelerating a notch. The weather was perfectly gorgeous again, and the trail shepherded me through a valley alongside a healthy river and through neat and tiddy towns with colorful shutters and friendly Swiss hikers. I was especially grateful that today wasn’t going to be a big day of climbing; I could just soak in the new scenery and chillax a bit.
I really hadn’t been hiking in Switzerland until today and many things stood out as new and fresh! I’ll remember you, Switzerland, for this comprehensive and impressive list.
Drum roll please…
-Cute trail markers
-Squirrels both real and crafted
-Nicely stacked wood.
-Things that squirm.
-Mushroom Wood Carvings.
-Oh, and the woods.
Despite being such a snail today, I still walked over 25 k and made it to my reserved hotel in Champex Lac in the early afternoon. I shared dinner with four sore Spaniards from Madrid with blisters galore on their poor feet and a Belgium couple who was hiking the high route over glaciers. Although Americans resided in all my refuges/hotels, the staff always placed me at the French or Spanish speaking tables, and that began a source of pride for me and a realization that maybe, just maybe, I actually fit in here in this foreign land with these foreign languages. I jumped back and forth from Spanish to French as I said goodnight to my new friends.
I closed my eyes wishing it weren’t already Night 5 and nearly over.
Day 5 recap:
Hiking Refugio Elena to Champex Lake
Hotel: Chalet Au Club Alpin