Wednesday, July 09, 2008


FIRST, A CORRECTION to the previous blog: as Thérèse pointed out, a better URL for the photos is here.

We are now in Lanslebourg, in the valley of the Arc, working our way quickly enough toward Modane. This excites me a little; from Modane we can easily take a train on a day off and cross into Italy to visit the town Lindsey's father was born in. I haven't been there since the winter Olympics, which undoubtedly changed things greatly, and I'm eager to introduce Henry to the town his great-grandfather came from.

The Arc valley is a lower variant of the GR5 that we're taking from Geneva (Evian, actually) to Nice; in a way, perhaps we're cheating a bit. I don't feel too bad about that, since we've already had plenty of climbing: the other day we actually climbed 5,762 feet in one day.

The Arc is billed, in a guidebook I'm using, as particularly interesting historically, for its authentic vernacular architecture and all that. Last night's stop was Bonneval-sur-Arc: a twin city with Les Baux en Provence. Like that village it seems quite inauthentic to me, very much a museum piece, artificial. But pretty enough; and far from the quality of the upper Savoyard places we've been in up to now.

Today's walk was perhaps 20 km and mostly flat, through fields and forest on dirt roads, very comfortable. Tomorrow will be similar: then after the Italian interlude we tackle higher mountains again, and longer days since the distances between refuges will be further. We'll see how that goes.

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