I had the alarm sent for 6.15 and by 7.15 I was on the road. Unfortunately, no shops were open at that hour to buy lunch. I’d bought a power bar the night before for a snack. Might be my only food for the day. Not good. My shorts are starting to fall off . My guess is that I’m expending upwards of 4000 or more calories a day and I just can’t eat that much. Although I’m trying.
At any rate I set out on what was promising to be a heckuva day. The guide book estimates 9 or more hours and about 1600 metres elevation.
The day was brilliant.
The scenery was astounding. And while I was grinning a lot and loving it, I realized I wasn’t having so many “Wow!”moments as I do at home. Realized why. At home you have to work your way up to the alpine. And then you “wow!” Here, you are in it all the time – from the minute you wake up. The “wow” moments come when you crest a pass and an entire new vista is spread out for you. I had a couple of those today.
I was pleased to note that the rearranging of my pack was better – only a touch of ache on the hip bones and tail bone was perfectly fine.
I worked my way up to the top of a ski lift (didn’t even know it was there) which, of course, had a huge restaurant and even though they weren’t open yet, I tracked people down and they made a takeout cheese and pickle sandwich for my lunch. I should have known. The Swiss are not about to let you down when it comes to food.
At about 10.45 I wolfed down my power bar and took aim for the pass.
It seemed impossibly far and high. But I plodded on, drinking gallons of water and stopping at a farm house and filling up again at their spigot/trough. And up and up and up and finally! Hurrah! The top!
But not the top. Below me was a huge beautiful bowl that I would have to descend into and then go up and up and up to the second pass. Sigh.
And that’s what I did even though I thought I’d die in the attempt. I am learning something interesting during this hike – I can really do anything if I set my mind to it and don’t give up. I went way past what I thought I could do today. Stubborn or crazy or something. And finally, at the top, a few other people including a young British couple who had taken the bus to the bottom of the first pass, knocking off 3.5 hours hiking time! Gasp!
So I also discovered that an awful out of people do this. Double gasp!
But hey – they took a photo of me:
And then the descent began. It was relentlessly steep and I have to say it seemed rather sad to lose all that elevation I so painfully gained. Again, I stopped at a farm yard to re-fill at the spigot. But I put my pack down and two cows tried to make off with it. I am NOT kidding. I had to chase them away and then the donkeys arrived. I got of there by the skin of my teeth.
And then on and on and on to Linthal. It was all madly steep. I was just entering the village when I heard the thunder. I walked into the hotel. Five minutes later the heavens opened. There is definitely an angel watching out for me. I had just come out of a hot shower and gone downstairs to get the wifi password when the young British couple came in dripping wet. And there was another couple at least half an hour behind them. Ouch. Did I feel smug? Of course! Did I rub it in? Of course! I mean really – who wouldn’t?
Tomorrow’s elevation gain is only(!) about 1000 metres. It feels like a day of rest. Yes, it has come to that: anything under 1200 feels pretty darn relaxed.