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Trient to Arpette: the Tour du Mont Blanc

Tuesday 3rd August

Mark and I were keen to take the high route, over the Fenetre d'Arpette, but we were a little worried about splitting the party in two. And then it was raining in the morning anyway. So we all headed off on the longer, lower route to the north.

We did the climb up to the Col de la Forclaz in the rain, but after that the rain mostly stopped and it was just overcast. It's a sidling climb from the Col up to Alp Bovine, where we had drinks in a buvette. After a section of steepish descent in the mud, we then had lunch on a rock shelf between the forks of a creek. After that an easier descent and some road walking took us to Arpette.

a gloomy day
through the forest
the Relais d'Arpette

At Arpette we had a room to ourselves (with blankets but no sheets, so the others hired sleeping sheets). I did some laundry, showered, and had a tarte aux myrtilles.

Carol found a romance novel in French on the hotel's shelf of books, while the only English choice was a translation of Arturo Perez-Reverte's Purity of Blood, a historical novel set in early modern Madrid, which I read nearly half of. I also delved into a textbook on Swiss commercial law (in French!).

Wednesday 4th August

Breakfast was not as good as we'd become accustomed to, with lousy coffee and not such a range of food. But there were nice views up the Val d'Arpette.

sunrise on the Val d'Arpette
Champex Lac

From the Relais d'Arpette we walked down to Champex, where there's a nice little lake, and I couldn't resist buying an apple turnover from a patisserie. Then we got the bus to Ferret (which stopped at the train station in Orsieres for ten minutes).

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