July 26, 2019
The thunder from last night had gone away and it was a fine morning. Although we thought we were up early, we were among the last to have breakfast. And the more we thought about it, after yesterday’s exertions it seemed like it was time for a rest day. So we bought day passes from the hotel so we could ride the bus and do other things at a discounted price.
The bus wouldn’t be leaving La Fouly until 10:15 am so we had plenty of time to look around. The Australian family who had been sharing our converted barn last night were also having a rest day so we chatted with them for a while before walking down the hill to the village. It’s very small so it didn’t take us long to look around, and then we sat at the bus stop and waited. In the meantime we figured out how to read the bus schedules, something which had defeated our frazzled brains yesterday at Ferret.
Once the bus came it was a downhill trip to Orsières, which is the main town in the valley. The views were lovely but it was really nice sitting in the bus rather than walking. Once in Orsières we had to wait 40 minutes for the bus to Champex so we went into a coffee shop to pass the time. The bus to Champex was the same bus with the same driver, and it took about 20 minutes to get up there. It was quite impressive to see him maneuver the bus around some very tight switchbacks!
In Champex we got off by the lovely lake and followed the signs to Hotel Splendide. Of course our room wasn’t ready yet, but no problem, we got our town shoes out of our big travel bag and went out to explore. The little village was spread along one side of the lake, and there were lots of restaurants and hotels on the main street. Near the far end we found Café Gentiana, which looked nice so we went in for some lunch. Rosemary had delicious lasagna and Paul had a platter of local products which included meats, cheeses, and fruits. Both of us were pleased with our lunches.
Back at the hotel we napped (this was really a rest day) and did some laundry. We turned on the television and the Tour de France was on, a mountain stage in the Alps. So we watched the cyclists riding uphill for a while. And then the show cut to a view of a road covered with snow and a bulldozer trying to clear mud off it. “Oo la la!” said the French announcer. Soon we heard that the organizers had called a halt to the stage so that the riders didn’t need to go through the snow and mud. A lot of the riders looked very confused by what was happening.
We had been hearing thunder for a while, and soon it started to rain. It rained for most of the afternoon and we looked out of the window, watching people in rain gear go by. Luckily the rain had lightened up by 6:30 pm, so we put on our rain jackets and walked over to Mimi’s Lounge, the nearest place to eat. The kitchen didn’t open until 7 pm so we sat inside and had a drink. Rosemary had lasagna again, because a TripAdvisor review recommended it, but it was not the same as her lunch lasagna. Paul had terrine de porc; it came with a terrific salad but unfortunately the terrine looked like cat food. Even more unfortunately it smelled like cat food too.
Back at the hotel we did some research into bus schedules, in case tomorrow’s weather turned out to be really inclement and we decided to have another “rest day”.