An escape to the hills! All is set for a perfect weekend with chum Sandra but the heat/early start or whatever addles my brain and I manage to leave my wallet (Louise’s in fact, and very precious) on the plane. Sandra luckily has her wits about her, and when the BA counter is unmanned and Lost and Found tells us to come back at 3 pm (this was midday) she, undeterred, and knowing that the plane was still there, nobbles a sympathetic check-in dame which results in this smiling handover 15 minutes later. Three cheers for Sandra!
The story is not quite done however as, in the flurry of the discovery of my loss, I leave my credit card in the bus ticket machine. After all this stress we repair to a quiet bar in our street in Basel for an aperol spritz.
The Dents du Midi and Champery are swathed in clouds and thundery rain as we arrive, but by sunset the peaks appear in all their glory.
Saturday is glorious and we decide to test my legs with a 8 km hike along the ridge up from the Barme and then down to a good lunch. It is hot and we meet locals mushrooming and picking wild blackcurrants.
Sandra particularly likes the cows, whose bells echo round the valley. Ross proudly shows us the route he took earlier in the week up the Dents Blanches with our friend John. While we are watching a huge rock fall crashes down amid a puff of dust
The strain of 10km – the full tally for the day – means that the next day we decide to challenge the pins a bit less, so we amble down to the river Vieze and then up, past the Accrobranche, to the Galleries Defago.
There are glorious views of the village, and a couple of mad climbers ascending the vertical face. Ross is excited as he criticises some of the bolts used to fix the ropes.
A welcome panaché at the Cantine des Rives, then a stagger back to the car, a mere 7 kms in total, but not so much up and down. It has to be said that my legs feel pretty rough on return to London, so much so that I took the bus home from Swiss Cottage!