We packed up the tent and enjoyed breakfast. Then, after an hour or so in the crisp morning air, we made our way a little further up the mountainside to Lac Blanc. Wow! It was like being in a postcard. We had read it was stunning but the reality surpassed our expectations. Azure blue water reflected the snowy mountains across the valley, with the lake ringed by a rocky bowl directed towards those same mountains to create the perfect frame for the outlook. Superb. We spent 2 hours just sitting and taking it in.
By now it was midday and so we began the steady trek across the Balcon Sud route towards Col Montets, the same route we had races across in the opposite direction on Monday evening. This time in perfect weather we went much more steadily, stopping often to enjoy the view.
Reaching the col by half 2 we found ourselves with a 90 minute wait for the bus to Vallorcine, the final village in France before the border crossing into Switzerland and the last stop our free bus pass would take us to....yet even the wait worked out. I got the chance to irrigate, Esther to do a much needed relaxation and then when we did get to Vallorcine as we found a local market just opened as we arrived selling local, freshly picked vegetables. Just right for dinner and also our first French market since last year's motorhome adventure. Oh how we love a good market!
Then it was time to decide where to sleep?
At the start of the day we had considered trying to reach our Swiss destination for the week ahead of Grimentz today (maybe hiking into the hills to wild camp one final time on this adventure) or at least wild camping near the Swiss border. Yet with tired legs and a bag full of tasty dinner the prospect of a nearby campsite felt far more sensible.
We had actually been a little surprised at just how tired our legs are today as a heaviness has touched both of us so deeply. Last night we powered up a 3 hour climb in 90 minutes feeling so fresh from our day off, but that was largely the adrenalin if racing the sunset as we started at 7.30pm with just 2 hours daylight left. Today we had no such stress and can only assume we had been on such a high output and high adrenalin state during the length of our 3 week hike that our second rest day 2 days ago switched us into a much needed recovery mode with the heaviness of today being our bodies are expressing their reluctance to go back into high energy mode without a longer rest.
Whatever the reason, as we sit here in the sun on a quiet little campsite waiting to head to a week long stay in our much loved Val d' Anniviers I feel certain it is exactly what our bodies need....and us to.