Day 39: Orsieres

Day 39: Orsieres

It was steep and the paths were narrow barely lining the edge of the mountain.  Sometimes they were non-existent.  I climbed over rocks following painted yellow diamonds marking the way. I stepped carefully, wary of the tree roots that rose above the earth, of the loose gravel beneath my boots, of the steep inclines that could see me lose my footing or injure my knees.

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Day 37: Saint Maurice

Day 37: Saint Maurice

Today was my second shortest walking day since I started my pilgrimage.  Despite my rest day and a couple of shorter walking days, I am feeling really tired and anything more than a few hours of walking results in feet and knees that throb constantly at night despite the stretching and massage.  Lucky I have a supply of voltaren tablets.

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Day 36: Aigle

Day 36: Aigle

After yesterday's rest day, it felt good to get back on the trail this morning with the Devil on my back.  The rain that was forecast never fell.  Instead I was blessed with sunshine for most of the day and a mild 18 degrees.  Perfect walking weather for my final hours beside beautiful Lake Geneva before I headed south away from the lake in the valley between the mountain ranges.

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Day 35: Rest day in Vevey

Day 35: Rest day in Vevey

Vevey was definitely the right place for me to have a rest day.

I woke up at 7am but managed to sleep for one more hour.  I indulged myself in a long and slow breakfast in my hotel.  Coffee, orange juice, croissant and bread with butter and jam.  You always pay extra for breakfast in hotels and it generally isn't value for money which is why it was an indulgence.

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Day 34: Vevey

Day 34: Vevey

Today was stunningly beautiful.  So beautiful that any pain and tiredness were just over-awed.  I walked beside the calm silvery waters of Lake Geneva.  I climbed up high into the vineyards.  I watched in awe as the haze cleared reviewing the jagged shadows of the Alps.  I ate my jambon et fromage sandwich amongst the hillside vines siting on an old brick retaining wall, dangling my feet over the edge towards the vines below and was dazzled by the view.

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Day 32: Orbe via Jougne

Day 32: Orbe via Jougne

Today has been filled with highs and lows.  It started low when my Camelbak hydration bladder decided to leak inside The Devil which I discovered after I geared up and was about to leave the room with a suddenly very wet and cold bum.  I have walked at an altitude of 1,000 metres, literally in the clouds.  I have picked my way down rocky steep slopes wincing at the pain in my knees.  I have walked through Autumn-kissed forests on leafy carpets the colour of a burnt sunset. 

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