Author Archives: ejiwani

In the sticks

We spent our last two nights in the sticks (or boonies, as we call them in the States). The night before last, our closest neighbors were 1/2 mile away and we had to walk back 1 1/2 mile to our cottage after dinner.

Yesterday we started our walk at the lake and gradually climbed 1400 feet over a mountain top. Along the way we walked by two youth hostels.

We encountered our first rain of the hike as we reached the top. Finally our rain jackets came in handy!

When we came down the mountain we came to our third hostel of the day where we spent last night ( no phone or WiFi).

We are now in an area known as the Lake District, a popular tourism area in England.

Hello from Coast to Coast

Last when we visited each other (last week) we were finishing Tour du Mont Blanc.

Today we began our next adventure in England, Wainwright’s Coast to Coast. It’s about a 200-mile journey beginning in St. Bees at the Irish Sea and ending in Robin Hood’s Bay.

You can see the contrast between the two Treks. While Mont Blanc was majestic and daunting, the Coast to Coast is a serene and gentle country scene. Both are beautiful in their own ways and are capable of challenging the senses and inspiring awe at their beauty.

End of the TMB

Thank you to all of you who followed the blog, wished us luck, and sent comments which we cherish. The 100-mile trek around Mont Blanc comes to an end with a nice ride down the mountain on a tramway, so while we had to climb 3,000 feet up, the descent was a breeze.

After a week off we start our next adventure in England walking the Coast to Coast route from St. Bees to Robin Hood’s Bay.

We were on a mountain resort town last night, and finally it rained cats and dogs after we had finished hiking. It also rained today–also right after we had finished our hike! Phew!

Today’s hike started along the river for the first hour before we began our climbing.

Longest day of hiking

Today was the hottest day we have had during tour du Mont Blanc. Today was also the longest day (27 km), and the longest descent (over 4,000 feet). We started the day with a 3,000 feet climb. Today’s descent was probably the steepest and now I see why so many people do TMB in clockwise direction!

Here are the highlights of today’s hike in pictures.

Another beautiful but hike

We ended up hiking another 3,300 feet climb and descent and walking 25 km. It was pleasant when we started but got most of the. We are now back in France. Tonight we stay in a Refugio which means bunk bed and shared bathrooms. This is a campground type area and seems to have very few amenities. No WiFi here so not sure I can even post anything, but on the way over I saw a sign indicating someone was offering WiFi for a price. Not sure it will allow me to upload pictures but I will check it out as I wait for Dinner.

8th Wonder of the world

View from the restaurant last night as the sun was setting.

Today was a rest day so we decided to visit the Courmayeur city center for Italian coffee and gelato.

We then decided to take the skyway to the top, eye to eye, with Mont Blanc. So close you could almost kiss it. It was documented as the 8th wonder of the world! I would definitely say the view was breathtaking and amazing.

The top provided a 360 panoramic view of the whole range.

For the flower lovers, here is your daily dose.

Up and over

Last night we stayed in Le Fouly which has one hotel, L’edelweiss, which has the the best views from our balcony that we have seen so far.

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Btw, above is the famous edelweiss flower (not what I imagined).

Today’s challenge was simple: Start climbing to the highest point of Tour du Mont Blanc (2537 meters), climb steadily 3,300 feet, step into Italy, promptly climb back down ’til you reach a Gelato parlor, enjoy, and you are done.

Sounds good to me! Did I forget to mention walking 25 KM? Piece of cake, or should I say, a cup of delicious Italian gelato.

Here we go for today’s story.

Tomorrow is a rest day! Just in time!

I did it my way

Hôtel Splendide last night turned out to be worthy of its name as it had wonderful views and a great meal.

Today we (Pat, Sakkar, and I) decided to set our own pace and go on our own. We left before the group and took a quick bus ride down to the valley floor to avoid the first descent of the day. From there it was a nice walk along the river gradually venturing up and down. Today’s hike reminded us of the Camino as we passed many villages and cute cottages.

The view from our balcony today even more amazing than yesterday.

As I leave you today, I will share this wise quote by a sage as we enjoy this beautiful scenery.

You are not sitting on the ground; you are sitting in the abode of God, the kingdom of heaven. In this aware state you will feel the presence of God within and everywhere.

It’s all a matter of perspective

After two grueling days of hiking, today felt like a breeze. Maybe we are getting conditioned or may be because today was half the climb of yesterday which also meant half the descent.

We again began the day climbing along the side of the mountain protected from sun and in the shelter of the trees.

Our reward for the climb was the working ranch that provides hikers an opportunity to eat fresh farm to mouth food served in a beautiful picnic area.

After a nice relaxing lunch it was time to tackle steep slippery descent. Fortunately it did not last and we finally had an opportunity to walk on flats and take full strides.

We are now settled in the beautiful town of Champonex with a beautiful lake and some gorgeous views of tomorrow’s start in Hôtel Splendide.