But leave we did. With more rain forecast throughout the day our plan was simple....get down to the valley floor and take a room for a night to reset, get clean and then head westwards back towards Switzerland to resume our hike over the Chamonix to Zermatt Haute route.
Rain showers came and went as we descended but couldn't stop us enjoying the view. So much so we opted to miss the fastest route to the valley floor at Argentiere and traversed all the way to Chamonix instead, with our route taking us within just a few hundred metres of ascent to the point we joined the Tour du Mont Blanc 11 days ago at the Col du Brevent and so completing a full tour of Mont Blanc!
Down in Chamonix after a few hours hiking and so many days in the hills we felt a bit of culture shock. It was just so busy and the smell of the city and the roads was very noticeable after so much wilderness (not that we were complaining as it was the same infrastructure that allowed us to be here as well).
We celebrated our completed Tour du Mont Blanc with a shared bottle of Kombucha in a small organic epicerie and then, as luck would have it, somehow managed to bump into several acquaintances we had made on the tour among the throngs of people. It really was uncanny to meet them.
By now it was time to leave town, but not before a hearty lunch and resupply at the Chamonix Biomonde Organic Supermarket. It felt so good and exciting to be surrounded by so many tasty, healthy and fresh foods again and with hungry bodies we ate our fill on the handy, rain sheltered table outside. How perfect.
Tummies full, we hopped onto a bus back to Les Houches a little further down the valley where we had booked into a hotel for the night. We had chosen this place following an enquiry we'd made when passing through 10 days ago and also because they had been so helpful to me in allowing me to use their toilet to irrigate when I got caught short....so it felt good to be going somewhere familiar and that happened to be just within our price range for a night. Oh and it has a pool that I was particularly excited about.
So excited in fact that we quickly decided to stay 2 nights instead of 1. Not only did it make the room cheaper per night but the prospect of not having to relocate tomorrow was enticing, especially after how good it had felt on our previous rest day 9 days earlier. A quick unpack later to air out our well used gear and we were in the pool and sauna getting super clean before spending a night in a big comfy bed.
More photos of our Tour du Mont Blanc in our Google album