I had a restless sleep. My body kept insisting it was 5 pm and time to “do” stuff while I tried to convince it that, no – it was actually 3 a.m. and it needed to sleep. I think I kind of won in the end through sheer exhaustion.
Got up and sampled the breakfast buffet, thinking to myself how much Simon would love it. Actually, how almost everyone would love it. Let’s see if I can remember: three kinds of yogurt, a monster bowl of fresh fruit salad, 8 different kinds of cereal and muesli, all kinds of juices, a big platter of cold cuts, a basket of fresh rolls, several loaves of bread, 6 different kinds of cheese in huge slabs, eggs, bacon. I think there was other stuff too but I settled for a bowl muesli with fruit and yogurt. These buffets are so wasted on me. I watched people loading up like they were about to go on a forced march and had better fatten up beforehand.
At any rate, by 830 I was on my way, stopping at Migros for lunch food. Picked up a huge bun stuffed with Brie and lettuce. Yup – that will do. And then off for an easy start to the trek.
At that hour of the morning it was already crazy hot and humid prompting me to ask myself, “I brought 2 long sleeved t-shirts why?”
The Via Alpina is beautifully signed and I only got off track once ending up in a wood lot – don’t ask how that could happen.
I took a few photos along the way:
I have to say that I had a tough start. I think it was the combination of time change, lack of sleep, heat and crazy humidity. I won’t say I was struggling but I wasn’t having an easy time of it. Still I made it from Sargans to Weistannen is 1.5 hours less than the guide book indicated. I actually find that hard to believe. Passed another couple from england also on the trail. They were gasping as much as I was. “Heat” they said. “Yup” I replied.
I was so grateful that the elevation gain on this first leg was only 600 metres – time to shake things down and adjust. For instance, I find that my carrying arrangement with my lumbar pack didn’t work because the clip went around my big pack and dug into my shoulder blades. I made an adjustment at lunch. Right now my legs are aching where they meet my torso. No idea what that’s about. I think I just have to keep moving. I also think I need to make another adjustment to where my pack sits.
Today I walked through pretty, gentle rolling countryside complete with requisite cows with bells on. All of this building up to the Foopass tomorrow, which looks darn intimidating.
I walked into Weistannen at about 1 p.m. and was pleased to find a place to sleep at the Hotel Gemse – a pretty place all decked out in flowers. But then, Everything here is overflowing with flowers and madly picturesque. I opted to stay in the Touristenlager (dorm) rather than a private room. Keeping costs down. So – 5 beds in the room and so far I am sharing it with a rather nice German couple from Leipzig who are also doing the trail. I discovered that if you choose to stay in a dorm in Switzerland you are expected to bring your own towel and sleeping bag, neither of which I have. Well, I do now of course because I offered to pay more for those and presto – a towel and a featherbed appeared. I have no idea how much they will charge me. This little village also has no stores of any kind (!) so I’ll ask the hotel for a bun and cheese for lunch. The hotel restaurant is also the only game in town.
By town, I mean tiny village.
It’s all very pretty and very removed from the big tourist regions of places like Zermatt, lucerne, and interlaken – just people living their lives – farming and making cheese and doing plumbing and teaching school.
It’s a great beginning.