It was not far off t-shirt weather, an Alps’ chill not able to compete with our brisk walking. Walking down now past some over-keen day explorers, who ran past us as cars swerved and jumped over safety barriers, reminded us once again to take care when it’s not our playground. Our two Aussie friends and us walked single file on a busy road as the immediate track was dangerously slippery.
Lisa, looking back, commented that she was pinching herself to make sure she really was on top of the Grand St Bernard. She had previously walked to Everest base camp, but this experience for some yet unexplained reason, was more profound.
We reflected on the small basin in amongst the close peaks which had been our home for the night; the half buried hut at summer’s beginning; the lake tour track which still can’t be seen after 9 months; and the touchable clouds massaging the grey white peaks.
Corrie and her father walked ahead as Lisa and I were the official photographers of our prospective teams. Not far above them streams of varying size appeared from the mountain peaks, others seemed to just appear from under snow drifts, all joining a major river that followed us along most of our path.
Early June means some of the Via Francigena upper path down into Italy still has some snow, or streams of water that make the high trails dangerous. So we spent some time on the road, with the many Saturday locals and tourists. A dozen cross country skiers drifted across in front of us, while others began their long walk back to the top. This was a cyclist, 2 cars and 4 bikes a minute road. While the former were slow, the motor bikes mostly used the hair pin bends to test their nerve, as they overtook cars in a seeming pursuit of a fast time or as a ready made substitute for a race track.
Now in Italy, with a new language and another use for our arms, it is downhill all the way as other muscles are now in use. Not a long journey today but a savouring one. As official photo person, and Corrie as my regular model, there were plenty of opportunities to take in our stunning surrounds.