The Champex Chav Shambles!

By Phil on 2013.08.27 In Tour du Mont Blanc

We had another funny night last night while having a few beers (as wine is bloody expensive in Switzerland) before me and Joe did a Donald and Davie Stott (from A Smell of Reeves and Mortimer) impressions for Pepe with some funny looks from other diners.

The final stage 10 of our TMB was a fairly easy one as we had walked further the day before in order to get better accommodation, which made the last days walk just under 14k with a 787m ascent and a 839m descent.

It was the usual last walk day atmosphere of being fairly quiet at the start, as we were feeling sad that our amazing trek was close to ending, but at the same time we were looking forward to the achievement of completing it and having a well deserved celebration.

Once again the weather was good to us as we wandered through the forest back to Champex Lac. We also managed to join another walking group who we let set the pace on the ascent before we overtook them at the top and raced ahead in our descent. We also had another potential scary moment with cows and bulls when we had to cross a section of the walk where the path was inside their field surrounded by an electric fence. We were shocked to see other walkers opening the electric fence and walking right amongst them, stroking and patting them as they passed through them! We were not going to take such a chance so we walked outside the fence until we had past the cows before crawling under the electric fence like ninjas to pickup the route.

As we stormed ahead on our decent to Champex Lac, me and Joe danced away to this years trek song of Blurred Lines which I had playing in iPhone. Pepe seemed to hang back and keep his distance from our dancing.

We were so looking forward to arriving in Champex and having a few celebratory bottles of wine, though we weren’t looking forward to the ridiculous Swiss prices. You are talking £30 minimum for a bottle of wine in all restaurant/cafes. We paid £45 for one last time we were here. So we decided we would buy our own wine from the shop and sit around the lake with our collapsible cups and the bottles hidden in our dry bags amongst the Champex Chavs.

We had a great sauna session in our hotel which also came with its usual classic comedy moments like Joe walking back to the wrong room and coming across a man lying in bed with a book. Joe: “Bloody hell man, I have just walked into someone else’s room. A bloke lying in bed reading his book. I apologised and left” Pepe: “What was book title?”

We then headed to the lake with our bottles and cups only to find the we were the only chavs there, before heading back to hotel to sneak past reception with our wine stash as it had started raining. Not exactly chav behaviour. They wouldn’t have cared about the rain.

After about 4 bottles of red in our room we headed to the hotel restaurant, for pizzas and more wine. It’s now 20:35 and we are all quite wrecked. Not sure if its the wine or all the walking or both. As to be fair we have lots of both. Joe and Pepe are now singing One Day Like This by Elbow arguing about which key to sing it in. I just want my sorbet desert.

The last ten days have been an amazing experience. We have had some really challenging days, the hardest any of us have ever experienced, but we kept each other going with the laughs we have had along the way. Some of the scenery we experienced during the trek was the most stunning we have ever seen and made the hard days so worthwhile, especially the Courmayeur stage, despite us getting lost for first hour in Courmayeur!

We are also so glad we chose the clockwise route in 10 days rather than the more popular anticlockwise route in 11 days or more, as you get to have all the morning to yourself before you start passing the anticlockwise people around lunchtime and not knowing wether to say Bonjour, Bonjourno, Beunas Diaz or hello. Although its more challenging doing the clockwise route, it’s so great meeting different people everyday and exchanging experiences of what lies ahead. But the real reason we did this route is that Joe is now a contractor and can’t afford to take an extra day off work. It’s all about the money!

As I said in an earlier blog, I have never ever seen anything as spectacular in person in all my life as Monte Bianco on the Italian side. Best experience of my life so far. Thinking you are nearly as high as MB and in touching distance when in fact you are at least another 2000m below it and seeing the ice melting and water running down it and hearing the sound of water obviously gushing down in the distance. Amazing!

We also had some of our funniest moments since doing these adventures. Like me booking accommodation in the wrong country, Joe and his burnt button nose and constant singing keeping us entertained and of course Pepe Perkins and his spray on swim shorts at our spa hotel. Plus many many more which never got mentioned in here. Priceless! And I will never forget Val Ferret and that Val Ferret and Ferret are not the same place or in fact the same country. Never Forget Val Ferret!

So I asked the lads for their thoughts of the trek:

Joe: Holiday of a lifetime, never again!

Pepe: Big hills, big thrills. Small pants.

Phil: Best holiday/experience of my life. Most challenging yet rewarding thing I have ever done. And Blurred Lines song. Tres Bon!!!

I would thoroughly recommend doing the TMB to anyone, though would advise you wait until we have published our own guide of preferred route and places to stay and so you can enjoy the the laughs we had along the way.

Tomorrow we are off back to Chamonix to stay at our mate Sean’s place for some serious chill time and do the Aguille du Midi and lots of other stuff.

TMB. Tres Bon!

Click here for today’s final route of the TMB

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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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