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Tour Mont Blanc Day 1  Les Contamines
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Tour Mont Blanc Day 1 Les Contamines

Day 1 - Chamonix to Les Contamines Monday 18-06-18 We tucked into breakfast making sure we left with a good meal in our tummies. Which was lucky because the places we expected to get lunch were either not there anymore or closed on a Monday. Nuts and museli bars it was to be. We also came across some lovely boys who had made ice tea and you also got a slice of cake with it, so we bought a round. The day started with a short train ride to Les Houches leaving at 9.15 and from here you take the trail heading out of the town. It was pretty much straight up the mountain to the Col de Voza at 1,653 - Les Houches was around 1,000m. This area is a ski field in the winter and at the top of the Col you have a lovely view of the Glacier de Bionassay. There were some open cafes here but it was a little early for lunch and we thought we would have lunch in Bionassay but the cafe ended up being closed on Mondays. We had taken a stop for tea/coffee/ice cream at a lovely Refugio just a little before this called Chalet-refuge du Fioux which has a beautiful view and a lovely grassy terrace. We wish we had eaten lunch here because it smelled so good.. C’est la vie. By now the temperature was around 18 degrees and the sun out and we were sweating away. There are so many fields of wildflowers with cows with their bells ringing and many small typical alpine looking chalets. We walked not only on dirt paths but also though forests, small tar roads through towns and some fields. The views were stunning and it was everything I was hoping the trail to be. The total kilometres for the day were around 15. We left around 9.45 and arrived at the Refugio CAF on the outskirts of Les Contamines around 4.30 after finally getting a quiche for lunch at about 4pm. This was the shorter route which we were glad to have taken - 3km shorter than the alternative route. Were were pretty knackered by the time we arrived. A nice cold beer at the Refugio and a hot shower and then they cooked us a wholesome dinner at 7pm and will prepare us a picnic lunch for tomorrow of a ham and cheese sandwich, taboleh, muffin, fruit compote and a twix bar. Dinner was pea soup, chicken curry with rice, cheese, cheese cake...and some lovely Château Cardboard that from a carafe tasted wonderful. The room we have has 8 bunks in sets of two side by side. Yes, there is Wi-Fi here.
Mont Blanc Tour Day 2   Les Chapieux
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Mont Blanc Tour Day 2 Les Chapieux

Day 2 - Les Contamines to Les Chapieax - Tuesday 19-06-18 Not a cloud in the sky today- beautiful! Breakfast started from 6.30. Our room was right near the kitchen and dining room so we got in early as we had heard that sometimes the food runs out in the Refugios. It was not as wonderful as dinner. Muesli, bread, jam and tea and coffee. But the lunch pack they made had an excellent ham and cheese sandwich that made up for that. Today is a longer day that yesterday maybe 17-18km. And a lot harder. Around 7.5 hours. So we left at 7.45am and started on he first gentle slopes through pine forests and along a glacial river. We had a nice chat to a couple from North Carolina. She is s professional photographer and he twas into timber mills. We left them just after the chapel Notre Dame and the track became very steep. From this point it was to be up hill for the next 4 hours. Thankfully it wasn’t all as steep as the first section. As we came out of the forests the stunning view of the Col du Bonhomme opened up. There were beautiful pastures with happy cows with their signature bells ringing gently. We gained 1,316 metres before we had a two hour descent of around 929m which was quite step. The highest point today was 2,483m at Col de la Croix du Bonhomme. There was a lot of snow on the pass and for quite a long way down the other side. We had a bit of slipping and sliding in it on our way down the mountain. We saw quite a lot of marmots today running across the snow and eating in the sun. They look a lot like a beaver. Again we walked through fields of wildflowers down to Les Chapieax a small hamlet with a few places to stay, a campsite and small cheese and local products shop. We arrived around 3.30pm so about 8 hours today. I had come down with a bit of a head cold so after a shower and doing some washing I had a sleep and rest for about 45 minutes. I heard later I was not the only one a bit shattered after the hard day. I was then ready to join Dave for a local beer. Dinner was soup, followed by slow cooked lamb and roasted potatoes, hunks of cheese and then panacotta for dessert.