Day 5 we woke up and lazed around a bit at our campground. The first bus into Courmeyour wasn't until 8:55 so we had plenty of time to be lazy. Since we didn't know how long it would take to get to La Fouly we made sure to be up by the time that first bus came.
While we were waiting a bunch of cows came by. They were really interested in our stuff and one started licking my hiking poles. I bet those were good...there was a guy at the end of the group making sure they all kept going down the road. The bus was really late and took a bit of time to get to Courmeyour since the cows were herded down the road, but it was fine.
I was surprised how easy and cheap it was to get to La Fouly. You can pretty much take a bus or train the entire way around the mountain except that one pass between Italy and Switzerland. We took the bus back to Chamonix, then a train to Martigny which was really beautiful. Also really steep with great views of all the mountains. It was odd looking out the window as everything looked to be tilted to such a crazy degree. It was very slow going down the hill, and the train was right on the edge of the cliff so you could see forever down. then a bus the last bit of the way to La Fouly. The bus was not very crowded and the last bit was just us so the driver was chatting with us. He was really friendly.
We got into La Fouly at 2:15 and it took us a little bit to find the campground. We did and it was gorgeous! We had to wait around until 3 to check in and set up our stuff, but that was fine. It was a rest day after all. We did get some Swiss money out which was really pretty. So colorful and fun, though it was odd as they have different sizes and colors of the same denomination. Like we had two different sized $20 bills that looked completely different. It was like how are we supposed to know how much money we have?
After we set up we went to check out the town. It is really tiny, but they had a grocery store so score. We loaded up on junk food and hung out at the campground for a bit.
There were lots of trails in the area named after animals with just pictures of the animal on the sign. Like eagle, cow, marmot, squirrel, etc. There were also these escape Mt Blanc signs everywhere which made me laugh as it is like it is a monster! Run for your lives! Escape before you too become part of the great Mont Blanc!!
After dinner we walked down to spy on the river that you could hear nearby. Gorgeous, but the water was freezing cold.
And that was our rest day.
I woke up the next day all ready to continue hiking to Champex - a small lakeside resort high up in the mountains. I was all ready to go, but Raymond wanted to be lazy so I had to roust him so we could head out.
It was a pretty easy hike, but there were some steeper downhill sections and Raymond's knee still was not good so we decided we could just finish the trail by public transportation. I know it is not the same, but we had time so why not camp where we would have and do some walking around without our packs. We walked down to Praz de Fort where you could take a bus up to Champex. It was a steep climb up to the town and we just were not up to it. It is really nice that they have cheap public transportation up to all these small mountain towns. The road up was really windy and steep, hairpin turns and lots of kids as they were just getting out of school. My guidebook said that the log piles in Switerland are so neat and tidy and just went on about them. I thought how much better can they be than what we have seen thus far? Well I can say they really are organized very well. Very neat and tidy. I somehow didn't take a single picture of one even though we commented on them as we were walking by...as we were waiting for the bus we were sitting at the bus stop and there was an older guy across the street getting his wood into a pile. It took him forever to do it. He would try a piece of wood in a hole, but if it didn't fit just right he would put it aside and try another piece. No wonder they are so tidy - they make sure everything fits perfectly.
Champex was beautiful! The lake was gorgeous, up in the mountains, really just a beautiful town. We were there mid-week and it wasn't very busy which was nice. We got in, set up camp at the campground just outside of town, then headed back for some lunch on the lake.
After lunch we took a walk around the lake and tried to follow the Charlotte la Marmotte trail.
There was a special exhibit of all these wooden animal sculptures up around the lake.
We did quite a bit of walking that afternoon. Went on a few different trails around the lake and into the woods. There were lots of warning signs for rivers that we walked by that were dry, but apparently are something you need to watch out for at other times. We saw lots of mushrooms and people picking them, and people fishing in the lake. One lady had a puppy with her who was sooo excited. He would just run back and forth after she cast her line. It was a nice town, but really quiet. Oh and at the campground there were some people there who were helping us and we used our German to talk to them. Even though Swiss German is completely different they still knew our German well enough that we could figure it out. Then later we were sitting at our tent and we could hear them speaking Swiss German and I have no idea what they were even saying.
We did eat dinner at the campground with a bunch of other hikers who had gotten food from the grocery store. One couple opened some half price chicken and was just like this smells bad...but they still cooked it and ate it. Yeah, even if I ate meat I don't know that I would have done that. Really I don't make a habit of eating things that smell off. Switzerland was really nice from the small bits we saw so we will definitely have to come back and finish hiking the trail through here (and explore some more).