wild animals and mountains…

Update 2.8.2011(1.8.2011)billn

Saturday a.m. What an interesting weekend – it started with the fauna; rummaging around in the loft for a rucksack I spotted a old, small wasp’s nest – perhaps the size of a tennis ball. The former occupants had long-since left the nest but I was a little surprised because the nest was hanging from the central beam of the roof, normally they are in eaves of the… Ooops. Now that nest is a lot bigger – and fully occupied – the size of a football, but shaped like a rugby-ball. Time to quickly leave whilst still in-tact. Next steps for that can wait for another day!

Okay, bags are packed and I’m heading for the main train station, last stop the mountains. I look out of the window of my bus and trotting across the fields without a care in the world was a decently proportioned wild boar – there are plenty around where I live, but in the eleven years I’ve lived there, I’ve never seen one in the (7:30am) daylight. It’ll be a golden eagle or an elephant next!

Klosters is shrouded in mist and occasional light rain too – the forecast was much better than this. Outside the train station are dozens of ‘athletes’ (well some of them look pretty athletic) it seems there’s a half-marathon about to start. What a shame, if only I’d known I could have joined them, ah well… 😉

Evening with friends and we get through a couple of nice wines – I’ve brought a magnum of Gambal’s 2004 Dents du Chien – the 2002 was drinking beautifully earlier this year – this one is on-form too. They contributed a tasty bottle of Champagne and an M&M 2006 Corton Bressandes which drank in a pleasant understated way. We finished the night with a 1970s Sweeney DVD – actually ‘Reagan’ – I think we are fully prepared for Sunday’s walk.

Sunday a.m. Actually, I’m not sure I am fully prepared for the walk; I have the feeling that there was less water in the previous night’s wine than usual – orange juice and coffee to the rescue. We’ve a bit of sun today – hooray – though not the wall-to-wall blue sky of the forecast. Ahead lies (it was alleged) a five hour walk From Montbiel to Wägerhus, up to 2,725 metres and back. I’m on good form for he first two hours through wooded valleys, the trees slowly thinning out until as you go higher and higher there are no more. At three hours I’m still strong, but slowing. Finally at four hours we reach the Jürisee – unbelievably turquoise-blue lakes on a plateau just below the high-point of the walk – superb. I must have used too much energy taking a photo of the lakes, because ‘just below the high-point of the walk’ actually entails about one more hour of ‘up’ for this now shuffling Yorkshire-man – oh how the legs complain! Finally at the top – not before a steep few switchbacks with a chain secured to the rock for you to hold onto – and boy, did I. Did I mention I don’t like heights? Cliff-edges anyway!

I’m now a new man because it’s all downhill! Finally we’re down and our (not-walking ‘I’m injured‘) route-planner shakes her head; ‘you should have needed only five hours – did you stop for a beer?‘ I could cope with six hours – just!

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