Sunday, June 27, 2010
Day 18: Courmeyer to Lavachey
We're on hiking time now: wake up before seven, quick shower, quick breakfast. Though we were one of two families staying in the hotel (the recession is hitting them hard this summer), there was an impressive spread for breakfast. After eating and pocketing as many little nutella packets and cheese as we could fit, we left the hotel. While my dad bought lunch, I bought hiking socks, and then we began the hike. It started through the Italian town of Courmeyer, a pretty town filled with hikers. When we had finally passed through neighborhoods and fields of wildflowers, our ascent began with a vengeance. It was really steep. After a small breakdown, we distributed some weight and kept hiking.
Our trying first leg was rewarded with a stunning view of Mont Blanc and the surrounding alps. Just a few more minutes brought us up to a refuge, with tables, drinks, food, and a view. We talked with the other Americans at the refuge while eating what we had bought this morning. Though I was sitting in the sun, the cool breeze and nourishment felt perfect.
The next part of the hike was up and down along the edge of the mountain. We passed through grassy spots, wooded spots, and shrubby spots, and had to cross lots of snow melt streams. We crossed over a big one, and I held back to take some photos. By the time I caught up to them, they had turned around and were walking back towards me. We debated the route, chose one, and then were advised otherwise by some other hikers, and headed back the way we were going originally.
This was probably the prettiest leg of the hike. We had panoramic views of Mont Blanc, grassy meadows filled with wildflowers, and the occasional patch of snow. We walked the extra few hundred meters up the mountain to another refuge, where we rested and had a drink. When we felt ready to go, we began our steep descent to our refuge-turned-hotel. We were mostly on a farm road, but one I would not want to take any vehicle of value on. It was steep and rocky, but downhill. Running down the sections proved the easiest way down, but as my parents wouldn't even try it, our descent still took a long time. We finally got to the bottom and to our hotel, right by the gorgeous, freezing river. We passed out on the beds for a little, enjoying being flat and stationary until dinner time.
After dinner, which was good but not anywhere near as good as what we saw around us--I guess we were on the economy menu--Naomi and I walked around the river. When we started to get chilly, we headed inside. I beat my mom and sister in a few games of set, and we went to bed.