WALKING TOUR – VAL D’HÉRENS

DAY 1

Thyon 1850 – Grande Dixence Dam

You are in Switzerland Jeroen and some hotels have window shutter on the outside.

I went to bed early last night only to notice that I could not close any curtains.  Only the morning after I learned that the window had shutters on the outside. Lesson learned.

That night I had not slept as good as I had hoped for but this had nothing to do with the quality of the bed etc… all of that was excellent. Perhaps I was too tired from the 10hr drive that day.

After a good breakfast, I went on my first day hike. It was wonderful to start my hike through the mountains. Into the fresh air.

Not like the part from Astorga to Santiago in Spain which I had walked last year; here I saw almost nobody. Perhaps 10 persons the whole day.

The hike itself was a beautiful trail through the middle of nowhere. If you really want to be on your own and enjoy a gorgeous scenery, this is the place to go.

It was a lot longer than I had imagined it. Perhaps it was because of the weather. It was sunny the entire day with no clouds at all. Although being at a reasonable altitude the temperatures were high as well. Careful what you wish for. Later I learned that this was one, if not the warmest week of the year.

Because of the weather, some terrain and not having walked long distances with a pack for a while, the 17,5 km were quite hard.

Let’s hope tomorrow the hike is a little more fun. Not that I have not enjoyed it, I did, very much. But for the first march of the vacation it sure was one. The height differences were at some points large, stepping from stone to stone like a mountain goat my knees sure knew they were used today. (Note to self for next time: do get some hiking done before the vacation.)

The funny part is that you see the entire day the dam at a distance.  Around every mountain corner it gets closer. And when you think it is just a few more minutes away you have another hour and a half ahead of you.

Bringing my big camera with me and having forgotten my strap, I had to improvise and keep my camera in the back of the pack. Meaning, for every picture I wanted to take I would have to set it down to bring out my camera. Something I sure want to change for the next time. On the otherhand, I have plenty of time… just wasn’t used to use it all. Meaning.. I was still in the “go and get there” mode, rather then “hey I’ve got the whole day for myself” mode.

When I arrived at the dam, all hot and a little tired I had only 1 sip of water left. When walking up towards the dam, so it seemed afterwards, an angel walked down towards me.

We passed each other and both turned our head. I because she did look like an angel, she?? I don’t know.

What I do know is that when we looked at each other again she was holding a large bottle of water up in the air and asked if I wanted some. Of course I did. I was nearly dehydrated. As fast as she appeared she was gone again. No photo no name…. Just water… No.. just an angel.

After visiting the dam and taking some pictures I was so happy the tour organisation had provided me with a ticket for the cable car. I could have made it down myself but surely my knees would have told me to use the cable car.

Funny. When I arrived down I did see the hotel that I had seen online, but instead of hotel du Barrage it said Le Ritz. If you ever get here (on foot) don’t be afraid it’s same place. And after such a long day walking I was happy to finally arrive at the hotel, it sure felt like “the Ritz” for me hahahaha.

Let’s have a look at the map to see what tomorrow will bring. By the looks of it, at least the same weather.

DAY 2
DAY 3
DAY 4
DAY 5