Friday, 6 July 2007

Pilgrimage from Pontarlier to St Croix 03/07/07

There was excitement in the air this morning, knowing that tonight we would be sleeping in Switzerland! The weather was also looking great so it should be a good walk.

Breakfast was served at 7am and then it was off to find to do some last minute shopping (we have heard Switzerland is crazily expensive) and find an internet café.

The shopping went well with me buying a new hat and some more tapes for the video camera but in the whole of Pontarlier there is not a single place with public internet access. I wasn’t impressed ;)

We timed it perfectly. Just as we left the hotel it started raining. Fancy that…

The walk first few kms were pretty flat but then we were in to the mountains. It should have been extremely enjoyable but the pouring rain and icy wind fixed that.

We were trying to make it to the border without a brake but 4kms before it we were too cold to go on. There was nothing left to do other than find a bar and have a couple of cognacs ;)

After de-freezing our blood it was off to the bus shelter for a picnic lunch.

I can’t believe that we are trekking in the middle of summer with our thermals on and are still cold!!!

Regardless of the cold we reached the border in high spirits. The immigration office was closed but luckily for us the restaurant 100m into Switzerland wasn't. It was time for our first Swiss beer :)

Upon reaching the first town, St Croix (pronounced “Saint's Crotch” in Australian), we figured it was stupid to try to walk any further in this weather. Normally it rains for an hour then stops, rains for an hour then stops but today was just rain and wind, rain and wind. Not a good day to be a pilgrim!

Luckily Saints Crotch has a YHA so it was off to defrost once again.

We have also found that the Swiss are use to walkers, so when we walk into a bar or restaurant dripping wet and smelling like a compost heap they still just smile and say “welcome”. We love the Swiss!

1 comment:

Kiwi Nomad 2006 said...

I climbed Croagh Patrick last year in Ireland. The weather turned foul and I finished looking like a drowned rat. I needed to hitch back to town to the hostel but I thought I might have trouble in my bedraggled state. I was picked up within seconds by a local who realised I had just climbed the "holy mountain". Sweet relief it then was back in the hostel to totally strip off everything I had been wearing for a hot shower and complete change of clothes!