Champex-ing At the Bit

By Phil on 2013.08.17 In Tour du Mont Blanc

Well the time has come! The Tour du Mont Blanc adventure starts here. Feel great following a good 4-5 hours sleep. Which is great for a semi insomniac like me. Must have been the white wine and company last night. Maybe I need to do that every night!

Although we haven’t done as much training as we did last year for the Pyrenees I still feel great and ready for the challenge ahead. Training has been fun and we all enjoyed having an excuse to buy “more” outdoor gear in order to get rucksack weight down. Luckily all three of us managed to get it down to around 10kg without water and food. Which is good. This year we also have the added bonus of looking like a walking boy band as all three of us have identical rucksacks, walking boots, trousers and of course our head/face hankie for wiping sweat away. Though my rucksack has been “pimped” by my Mam by adding an additional strap on top of rucksack so I can attached my solar panel charger. All mod cons for us boys! Jase just told me he has pimped his socks. Which means he has stitched a mark on his socks so he knows which sock goes with which pair so he doesn’t get clean and dirty ones mixed up. I prefer to just smell them personally. Mine, not Jase’s socks obviously!

We arrived safely in Amsterdam with only 45 mins to wait before flight to Geneva. So no time to check out my favourite Hugo Boss shops. But we forgot we had Joe with us and nothing is straight forward, as he left his connecting flight boarding card on last plane. Luckily we just had enough time for him to get a new one printed from KLM desk before heading to departure gate for Geneva.

On the flight to Geneva Joe was wishing he hadn’t been given a new boarding card. As he was sat next to an elderly gentleman who had fallen asleep before we had even taken off. With the gentleman deciding to rest his weary head on Joe’s shoulder as me and Jase laughed from our seat in opposite isle. They looked so sweet. While Joe thought about sticking a prawn from his sandwich up the gentlemans nostril.

As the wine flowed on the short flight to Geneva we thought it was time we had a look at the Cicerone TMB guide book of what we were actually meant to be doing over the next 11 days. We have had the book and electronic versions of it since May and not one of us had read it properly. We are used to leaving that bit to Ian who isn’t with us this year and he needs to find another company to give him another 7 week life changing holiday in his contract like his last employer and was the whole reason why we are all now hooked on this crazy hikiness! Is hikiness a word by the way? Don’t think so, but sounds good so might patent it.

Once at Geneva we needed to headed to Champex via three trains and a bus. We arrived at Martigny station 5 minutes late and we only had 5 minutes connection time. As we arrived at the station we had to sprint to the next platform. Luckily we made it with seconds to spare. This followed by another two train connections and a bus for the last 10 minutes. Altogether two flights 45 minutes apart followed by three trains with less than 5 minutes apart. Excellent time keeping and connections these Swiss have. No the wonder they make clocks!

While sitting on the bus surrounded by loads of foreign singing girl guides/boy scouts we did start to wonder if we were on the right bus. Jason: “I hope this is the right bus and doesn’t take us to some guide camp!” So we just sat at the back and kept quiet hoping it was the right bus. They probably thought we were from a rival scout pack seeing as we all have same rucksacks and many other items the same. Anyway we joined in with their singing of Queen’s We Will Rock You on the way.

Arrived in Champex safe. Obviously we headed to first cafe/bar on the lake. Joe took a look at the menu and noticed they had horse steak. Joe: “Ooo they have horse. I fancy that. Obviously I will punch it first.” As that’s what Geordies do apparently. Punch horses. Especially Police horses.

Well after deciding against punching and eating horse met we headed back to our hotel and the restaurant next door to carb up on pizza and chips. As we don’t know when we will next get to eat! Luckily it’s only 18km tomorrow to break us in. So we can afford to treat ourselves to some more vin. We cant wait to get started! Tres Bon!

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Welcome to my blog about hiking, trekking, Fjällräven Polar 2014, in fact anything where you require boots and the outdoors.

My name is Phil, and following my outdoor epiphany which started in the summer of 2012 I’m now hooked on everything outdoors. So far my biggest treks have included the 250km Cathar Way, the 170km Tour du Mont Blanc and best of all, winning 1st place to take part in the Fjällräven Polar in April 2014.

I plan to use this blog to write about all my adventures, which will include my personal goal of becoming a Munroist (completing all 282 Scottish Munro mountains), summer treks, weekends in the Lakes and many more.

I like to try and make my blog posts humorous so I hope you enjoy reading and that I can put a smile on people’s faces while showing you some amazing places.

If you have any questions about the blog or the places I'm writing about, don't hesitate to contact me on: phil@philyourboots.com

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