We had a comfortable night in the Gite d’etape, which was very like a British Youth Hostel.
We spent a lot of time today walking uphill, at first following a road with the path taking a direct line through the road’s zig zags. Eventually we reached the road’s end, where there was a car park and lots of people starting their day’s walk. There was a cafe which sold the ancient mountain medicine, Coca-Cola.
The path continued up and up, through various different eco-systems. The air got cooler and the scenery more and more spectacular, and the bright sunlight more otherworldly, all of which occasionally went some way towards relieving the pain of the ascent (total ascent today something like 1700m or 5100 feet in old money or very nearly 2 Scafell Pikes). We had a lunch with challenging bread, followed by a visit to the delightful and isolated Refuge d’Anterne, complete with its own waterwheel, where we had more medicinal coke and cake.
This helped with the next section, which was steeply uphill, until we came to a beautiful lake- Lac D’Anterne. Judith and I put our feet into the icy water and Edward went for a full swim, for at least 30 seconds. I wasn’t going put that much strain on my heart, after climbing more or less the equivalent of 2 Munroes.
A final steep climb took us to the Col d’Anterne, which was rather windy but had a magnificent view of the the Mont Blanc massif, revealed in all its glory.
A steep descent brought us to the Refuge for the night, which is busy and friendly. The weather, which has been glorious all day, has deteriorated a bit this evening and I think we will be sharing a room with a day walker without much equipment, who is trapped here. Judith, who is a little tired, has been doing sterling work speaking with her in French.