Alpine Hiking Adventure GR5 - Day 3 Summary - Chalets de Bise to La Chappelle d'Abondance

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Tuesday 26 July 2016

Alpine Hiking Adventure GR5 - Day 3 Summary - Chalets de Bise to La Chappelle d'Abondance

After a mammoth hiking day yesterday and an overnight deluge that revealed we had pitched our tent in a small dip in the apparently flat ground, we were understandably a little tired this morning. I also had to get out of the tent at 5 am to irrigate in the wilderness, which is always tricky trying to find a suitable place...all of which made us doubly grateful we had gotten so far the night before. In fact Esther was so tired she struggled to even get up, not because she was sleeping but just the physical effort to manoeuvre to dress and get out of our little tent.
That is why, as the handful of other camping hikers set off early, we decided to go more slowly packing up. The upside of having walked so far yesterday was that we now knew we were just a few hours and only one climb and descent away from a village where we could resupply and likely stay over as well so we could carry on easing ourselves into thru-hiking for the weeks ahead. Its a marathon not a sprint as they say. Also, with no fixed destination or deadline we want to make sure we look after our bodies as much as we can.

After reaching the top of the 350m climb to be greeted by some very friendly cows, it was just a 900m descent into La Chapelle d'Abondance, a small village with plenty of accommodation.....and a couple of hours later we were gratefully putting down our packs in a farm that offered rooms in a lovely alpine looking building. Not that it isn't a working farm as the procession of hay bales past our window and the banging above and below this afternoon demonstrated.

Perhaps the biggest treat, after the shower, was the fresh food. We ploughed through oranges, a watermelon and a lovely salad salsa with avocado Esther made until our bellies were nicely full.

Yet for all the comfort the biggest reason we decided to take a short day is that in all the rush to leave the UK we made very few detailed route plans or research. The past 2 days was sometimes harder than it needed to beceause we had just wanted to get going from Thonon. Yet after 2 nights on the trail we realised we needed to research the route ahead, make sure we had picked out potential campsites or refuges and also food and water supply so we can carry a suitable amount. Our packs are definitely heavier than they need to be....also because we were so rushed in packing in the UK we threw things in we didn't really need as we couldn't decide if we might need them. Now we know we don't they really should perhaps tomorrow will involve a trip to the post office as well.

Some more pics below.....

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