Friday, 13 July 2007

Pilgrimage from Martigny to Orsières 11/07/07

I wasn’t in a rush to get started this morning, as there was a small chance Dan will turn up. I am sure he will get stuck there for a few days…but you get that :)

I finally got going around 11am and it was a beautiful day. It’s around 45kms to the St Bernard pass so if I can get 20-25kms done today I will be happy.

I only got about 1km down the road and Dan called. I was right next to a station and his train was about to leave so I said that I would wait the half hour until he got there. Thirty minutes later I got the call but he had jumped off a station early. It was only three minutes away by train so rather wait for another one he said he’d walk.

An hour later I figured he was a lost cause so started off once again. After another 1km there he was eating lunch wondering where I had got to. It ended up he’d leapfrogged the station I was at and gone to the next one…dickhead!!! :)

So by the time we eventually got going it was 14:00, but we were still sure we would make the 20km target.

Then, we had the great idea that instead of walking through the valley for the first 10kms we could go up over the mountain. What a mistake! After 5mins we had to take our first rest. This was ridiculous. We were trying to scale a cliff by zigzagging up an almost vertical path…and with 20kgs on our backs!

Well perseverance prevailed and we finally made it to the top. Dan was in much better shape than I was. I was hurting. It was time for a beer…

I would like to say the view was worth it but even though it was spectacular, I wouldn’t do it again with my backpack in a hurry :)

We then had a short walk along the ridge before it was straight back down into the valley. I’m sure when I look back through photos and video footage it will be great but I was glad to be back on a more level footing.

It was then a fairly easy stroll to Orsières, this would give us a 30km walk tomorrow.

Dan had he great idea of checking with the abbey to see if we could stay. Unperturbed by yesterday’s rejection we knocked on the door. The Father had seen us walking up the road and was expecting us. What a pleasant surprise. It was great! He cooked us a meal himself and we had mattresses to sleep on.

Dan went to make a phone call while I was taking a shower and came back saying that the town was pumping. He had to make another call so we arranged to meet at this “pumping” bar he’d seen.

Well, I went out and couldn’t find an ounce of life anywhere. To me it looked like a ghost town!

When Dan got back he was surprised that he hadn’t see me out. What a tripper. He still swears that there was a bar full of people in the town square??? :)

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