Into the Heart of the Alps

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Via Alpina 2011 Has Ended... Just a Little Early, July 19, 2011

The rain forecast for today was quite correct -- it rained non-stop from about 10 am through 3 pm, the exact hours we would be on the trail. We made the decision to stay in Vallouise for another day, rather than have our last day of hiking this year be miserable. Good decision for several reasons. As we started exploring our various options for hiking more while also getting back to Geneva for our Saturday early am plane, we learned that the Tour de France has occupied ALL available rooms in any kind of establishment within a 50-mile-or-so radius. Meaning that whatever route we explored (Via Alpina trail or not), there is no lodging to be had for the next two nights. None.

So, we have reluctantly decided that yesterday was the last day of Via Alpina hiking for 2011. Tomorrow (which is forecast to be sunny, phew) we will backtrack some and hike to L'Argentiere-la-Bessee, take the mid-afternoon train to Lyon (no need for lodging near the Tour de France with this plan), spend Thursday exploring Lyon, get to Geneva on Friday, and leave for home first thing Saturday morning.

Lessons learned from this first year of the Via Alpina adventure:

            * The heart is great, but it would be good to train even more, especially steep uphills (will they ever feel comfortable?!)

            * Build in rest / slush fund days (1/week)

            * Fix the shoe problem

In 2012, we will return to Vallouise and start with this view of glaciers. Not such a bad thing to look forward to ...

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