With the prospect of a wet Bank Holiday weekend in London I thought it would be a good idea to chase the sun for a few days in Switzerland where the weather has been glorious.
Saturday dawns misty and cool so we don our wet weather gear and visit the garden centre to replace our dead plants in the rockery. But Sunday is clear, albeit cold, with a light dusting of snow of the mountains.
We decide to do a walk in Champoussin, scene of early Scout ski trips with Tommy and Louise, and the first place she discovered she liked skiing after all, so it holds bittersweet memories. The Dents du Midi tower majestically above us, and parapenters’ colourful wings swoop and circle over the valley.
We walk a ridge ending in field where we ski in winter, now home to lovely cows, Swiss and Highland varieties, and in Champoussin itself, fields of goats, suppliers of our lunchtime Serrac cheese. It’s pretty chilly out of the sun, probably around 12 C, but a brisk 8 kms keeps us warm. I just about manage the shorts…and the walking. I surprise myself these days, well able to do 10kms. Not bad for a double cripple!
A few days later (after more sunbathing in the garden and apricot jam-making) my old chum Fi comes to stay and we make an early start before the thunderstorms that are forecast. Another azure blue sky as we trek up through the forest to one of my favourite paths – Sous la Dent – a route I have not done since my sarcoma and which I find remarkably easy. It must be the years of yoga and Pilates!
Stunning views back towards Les Diablerets, over the village, and up towards the Dents Blanches themselves. After a gentle amble down the Barme we decide to go on further only for the wind to get up and the clouds to gather. We flee! A quick lunch later and we set off down the steep zig zags back to the car. Ten minutes away and thunder is clapping, lightening forking; Fi gets soaked, luckily I have a water proof. Nothing that a hot bath and sauna can’t sort out!
I love sharing our mountains with friends…there’s an inner peace that descends from their majesty.