Via Alpina – stage 5

In contrast to yesterday, today seemed like a piece of cake – at least it started that way. Got a nice, early (7.15) start and tackled the Klaussenpass. Knocked off 600 metres in 2 hours on a lovely morning that also involved cows posing nonstop.

Then there was the big choice at the top of the pass: follow the regular route for 20 plus kilometres or take the highly recommended alternate route through Aesch.

Oh heck – why not Aesch? Well, I’ll tell you why not. Can you say steep? Very steep. But also fascinating and beautiful and wild.

Down and down and down to the idyllic tiny village with the backdrop of a waterfall and the requisite livestock.

And then on I went farther down – after running into Claire and Rob – a Brit couple on the same trek. I have caught up with them every day now and it’s beginning to be a delightful joke that every time I see them, they are sitting sound, napping or eating or just lolling. They have decided that buses are very much the way to go.

Shortly after that, the trouble began. I don’t know what is going on with my right foot but even taping the toes only worked for about 4 hours. The rest of the day, every step was agony. I just kept telling myself to embrace the pain. But wow. Bad.

At any rate, one thing the guide book neglected to mention is that if you take the alternate route, you have to go over yet another pass.


I was near the top when I passed a nicely placed bench, plopped down and had my lunch. Trail mix today. Mostly I just needed to rest my poor right foot. It was also at this point that I determined to take a bus. As soon as I got into a village with a bus that is.

It was around 2 that I got into Spiringen where a lovely old lady told me the bus to Altdorf was about to arrive. Yay!

I hopped on and in 15 minutes, there I was. Oh , and the Brit couple were also on the bus – still sitting as Rob noted.

Altdorf is huge – compared to where I’ve been recently: a bustling town with very upscale shops and a statue to William Tell because this is his town.

Aha! I thought! Finally I’m in a place that might have the great Swiss chocolate I’ve been wanting to buy – the kind you just can’t get in the tiny villages I’ve been in. But tourist info told me, no such luck. There are no rooms to be had in the entire place with its gazillion hotels.

However, there was one room available in a guest house in Attinghausen, which happens to be where my trail starts tomorrow. Back to the central plaza where the buses come and go. Asked the driver of the first one I saw, which bus to Attinghausen. “That’s me” he said. Yay! And a few minutes later I was in a hot shower. Just like that.

And that’s where the last (I hope) challenge of the day comes in. I stuck my camera card in the slot to transfer photos and no go. Dead. Oh boy.

Nothing I did had any effect. Hmmmm. Well, my camera has wifi. Might that work? I downloaded the Panasonic app, found the wifi on my camera, did a few other things and presto – photos. I make it sound easy. Remember, this is technology. It was not easy. Took me more than half an hour to get everything working and then to find my photos on the iPad. That said, I am very proud of myself for figuring it out!

Let’s hope I remember tomorrow what I did today.

One last thing: I had more time to think today, at least this morning before my right foot decided to make a play for amputation. And I found myself thinking mostly about Simon – how much I love him and how much I cherish my life with him. He is a deeply beautiful man.

About goodyniosi

Writer, avid(!!!) hiker - living life to the fullest. Love, life, bliss - getting high on getting high (in the alpine that is)
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