August 20th, 2018
21.9km | ascent 924m | descent 1029m
Accommodation in Les Houches: Les Campanules (booking.com, €127, room only)
We decided to have breakfast at the hotel for €15 per person and it was a wonderful buffet with lots of cake! We had decided to sleep in and have a lazy start after reading that the stage would be slightly easier than the past few days. We left the hotel around 9am and it was a lovely easy morning along dirt paths and roads through picturesque villages. Shortly after leaving, we bumped into an English guy called Sam who was walking the same direction as us so we started walking together. He was great company and time was flying by.
The path steadily climbed up through villages and it did feel easier (maybe I’ve finally got my trail legs), but it was very very hot and the sweat was pouring out. One of the reasons it’s best to leave early in the morning (not at 9am) 😉
A house with a view in Le Champel
We stopped with Sam at the high point of the day at Col de Voza (1653m) to have cake and coke, overlooking the Tramway du Mont Blanc, which pulled in while we were sitting there. My wild blueberry tart was amazing and dad was pretty happy with his waffle!
The descent was steep at times but mostly along a road, and it was nice to be able to see our destination.
Sam was heading to the train station to meet some friends so we said goodbye and I checked google maps to find our accommodation. Yesterday our hotel was 1km before the town, and today, it’s 1km after town, oh oh, how to break this news to dad! It must’ve been recommended somewhere otherwise I wouldn’t have booked it, way back in February (I can’t remember how or why I chose it). The final sting in the tail was that the hotel was not only past Les Houches, but that it was uphill! (Only just off the trail though.) We arrived at the quite fancy hotel reception panting and sweating, and the very well dressed man checked us in.
Our room has a balcony which faces Mont Blanc, that alone is worth the extra effort of getting here. We both emphatically agreed we weren’t going back downhill to Les Houches (unless the hotel had a free shuttle which they didn’t), so we reserved dinner at the hotel for 7pm. I asked if there were washing facilities and like every other place we’ve so far stayed at, they said no, so we hand-washed our clothes again and hung them on the balcony using my clothes-line… only for a heavy downpour to start literally minutes after hanging out the clothes. Again, lucky to arrive before the rain.
Dad had a two-course meal of a salad and salmon dish and really enjoyed it. I got a local specialty called the tartiflette which I’m still regretting after eating my annual cheese quota in one sitting!
It was great to have a somewhat easier day today, especially as dad’s cold has really taken hold now and he has a nasty cough. Early night tonight.