What motivated us to do such a thing before we'd even had breakfast you may ask? Well, we didn't really have any reason other than just being outdoors and enjoying moving our bodies. After so many weeks hauling a heavy pack and then the past few days taking it easier we just felt like moving a bit more quickly and working up a sweat.
We were glad we did. The run itself was beautiful and the morning air clean and crisp. Just perfect. The gathering clouds even allowed just enough sun through to highlight the brilliant view onto the Moiry and Zinal valley glaciers, including a distant glimpse of the Matterhorn beyond the nearby 4000m giants of the Bishorn (4153m), Weisshorn (4506m), Zinalrothorn (4221m), Obergabelhorn (4063m) and Dent Blanche (4357m). In fact were it not so bitterly cold when we did reach the top we would have stayed for the magnificent view longer. As it was we put in our windproofs and whipped back down to Bendolla, just in time for the sun to come back out. It was just a shame we'd left our good camera at home for one so as not to shake it about running so had to make do with phone images that entirely failed to capture the view.
And the activity didn't end there. After a late fruit breakfast we them decided to hop on the bus to Zinal again for yet another 100 lengths in that wonderful swimming pool (at least Esther did, I stopped after 50) and some time sat outside enjoying the sun before catching the last bus home.
After dinner our evening then took on a bit of a life of its own. Although we'd kept busy all day and had fun, if we were are completely honest with ourselves in part it had been to take our mind off some mounting fears around our Egypt trip in a few days time. I won't go into the details, but after almost a month now in the mountains, often sleeping under canvas and keeping our life as simple as we can, the prospect of a much busier, lavish and scorching hot fortnight feels like we are flying to a different world. What this meant tonight in particular was some long chats that descended into an argument before we reconciled and decided to park it for the night.
Don't get me wrong, we are looking forward to the trip to Egypt and want to experience a whole new culture...that's why we booked it and also why we decided to do something so entirely different to anything we have done before ....but at the same time we feel a nagging reluctance to leave the mountains and the quiet life we've been enjoying and slowly acclimatising to. I guess it boils down, as it so often does for us, to a fear of the unknown. Is this a healthy respect that keeps us safe or an irrational fear that holds us back? Does this make us better or worse as travellers? I don't know? We can only be ourselves after all and challenges are what help us to grow.