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Sunday, August 22, 2010

One Last Hike

Sunday we awakened to a crystal clear, near perfect day.  Barely a cloud in the sky and hot for the mountains.  I took a little solo hike up the hill again to see if there was any chance Doug could walk up there and while it was tough, I felt there was maybe one pathway he could handle if we drove up the initial slope.  Came home to a nice brunch on the terrace and then we decided to take a drive to see how far up we could go with the car.  I was curious about a couple of the roads we'd seen and the ride did not disappoint.  When you get up above the little villages, you can see the vast expanse of ski runs and the mountains opposite us just pop out in all of their majestic glory!  On such a clear day, the view was jaw dropping.  We drove past this little restaurant that our friends had recommended and I remembered that from near our house there was trail that said the walk was 50 minutes.  Doug thought he could handle it.
We drove back to a place where we could park and started off.  It was hot with no cover from the searing mountain sunshine.  Even I thought it was a bit much at times.  I didn't realize we were going to hike so I forgot sunscreen and was wearing my tennis shoes instead of my hiking boots.  It was OK, but I was glad we had water in our backpack.  The walk was incredible.  There are things called bisse strewn across the Swiss countryside, irrigation canals that have been built that run like beautiful streams.  The pathways are often right next to a bisse and the sound of the bubbling water really brings comfort and relief when you are roasting on an uphill climb. 
We were doing just fine until we came to a crossroads and took the wrong path.  The path we took led straight up and turned a fairly leisurely walk into a challenging hike.  I was worried about Doug as coming back down caused much more pain than going up, but I also knew that wherever we went up, we would eventually have to come down.  And while I'm not injured, I'm not in very good shape so found the incline rather challenging.  By hiking standards this was an easy route.  By Jodi standards it was tough!  Eventually we realized that we were on the wrong pathway and while it would've been fun to keep going up, given Doug's knee concerns we decided to turn around and try to find our mistake.  We did.  Got on the right path and ended up at this great place called Plumechit where you sit on a large balcony that allows you take in the valley and the views.  After a refreshment stop, we made our way back, in 45 minutes...5 minutes quicker than the recommended time!  We were roasted but happy.  Doug was very pleased that he got in another hike and I was thrilled to see that part of our area. 
After a cool shower and a wonderful afternoon nap, we grilled burgers, sat on the terrace, reflected on what a wonderful time we've had and shared a crossword puzzle as the fading light on a gorgeous day dazzled us with hues of pink and white.