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Alps 2012 (Valmeinier) [Jul. 11th, 2012|10:55 am]
Some random thoughts on my Alps holiday!

Hotel was alright, 2 stars, with a swimming pool. Our room was pretty big (basically 4 beds). At first I wanted to sleep on the top bunk bed, but decided to sleep in the "normal" bed next to my dad. That meant I was closer to his snoring, but it would be easier if I need to get up in the middle of the night to pee heh. Just being practical!
Food was okay, not that much choice or not that great in quality... but I had lots of chips and pasta anyway. My favourite day was on a rest day, where I had chips and pizza as lunch, and chips and a hamburger as dinner. So good hehehe. 
There was something special about the hotel! Tom Boonen stayed there a few years ago!!! Wow!!! Maybe he slept in my bed!! Maybe those supsicious stains on my bed sheets are his! So exciting! 

I get the feeling we did less hikes than previous years, but reading my previous reports I guess it must be about the same. We had 3 non-hiking days, two because of bad weather, and one because I requested a resting day (more about that later). 

Like I said two years ago, my dad is getting old, and it's obvious we hike at very different speeds. He always shrugs it off with a joke, but it's really apparent, and it's annoying for me. He always says I can go first, so I do, and after ten minutes I turn my back and he's nowhere to be seen. I usually have to wait about 1 or 2 minutes every 10-15 minutes, so he really is slowing me down. I know it's not a race or anything, but a lot of times I work up a certain hiking rhythm (I get "in the zone", and I love it), and having to wait for him messes up that rhythm. I mean, it's something small to complain about really, but still. 

Another thing is that he complains a lot about some minor (I guess?) pains he's feeling after each hike. His knees especially seem to suffer, and it's why I requested a special resting day, even if the weather was good, just so he can rest a bit. Now, I have to say, the first 2 hikes, my knees were troubling me as well, especially my left knee. I already mentioned this before I think, this only seems to happen when I'm wearing those heavy hiking boots. But funnily enough, after that resting day, it was never as bad as those first few days, I guess my body got used to the boots. Anyway, the condition of the resting day is that I went swimming, at least twice. So I did. And the day after, my leg muscles ached more than on a normal walk haha. I'm not that keen on swimming really (mostly because of the thought of other people's fluids in the pool...), but it really is the best workout you can get. 

As for my favourite hike...don't really have one, but there is one path to the Col des Marches, which has a bit where we had to jump over a river. I absolutely loved doing that, we went that way three times, and I still wanted to go back there on the last day (dad said no, because getting there is actually quite a steep climb). I could do that bit a hundred times without getting bored, really. It's my inner child again I guess. 
The walk to the Lac Vert ("green lake") was nice as well, not that steep, mostly along a little river, and on the last day we saw that there was trout in the river! Had fun making a lot of river and lake shots that last day. 
Most annoying hike was probably the one to the lac of Rochenoire (close to Col des Marches), because at the highest point we couldn't see the path anymore because of snow and many rocks. We went through anyway, with not that much difficulty in the end, but it took us a lot of time to find a nice way through, and still it was a little dangerous. Not like there were any instant-dead drops, but still parts that could've seriously injured us if we slipped and fell down. 

I didn't really get any "battle wounds" as I call them, but I did get sunburnt pretty badly on my arms and my hands(!!!), took ages for my skin to return to normal, and even now, two weeks later, the skin is still peeling off a bit. Other than that, I'm healthy. A bit fatter, but I actually feel physically fitter than before. 

As for entertainment, there was Euro 2012 (though I wasn't that entertained by it - and certainly not entertained by boring Spain winning), but unfortunately no Wimbledon. Well I did get to see one match in full, but that was thanks to streaming it on my laptop, as there was nothing Wimbledon-related on tv. Tour de France started in the second week, but since it was just the first week it wasn't that interesting for me. 

Bought some books along, and predictably only read one and a half. "A beginner's guide to acting English" by Shappi Khorsandi, which is SO GOOD. Laughed a lot, and uhh, got something in my eye several times as well. Second book was "Roma" by Steven Saylor, a collection of stories involving Rome and uhh, and winged phallus. First three stories are awfully written, but then it becomes pretty good. 

As for any films, I just watched Alien and Aliens again, and random stuff on tv. Didn't game a lot either, but did start Ocarina of Time 3DS. 
Music: downloaded a couple of albums just before I left but didn't really listen to them haha. So just the usual suspects. Oh, and the dub version of Grace Jones' Hurricane. And kept up the tradition of listening to Goldfrapp - Felt Mountain when we leave at 6AM and say goodbye to the mountains. Perfect music for when you see the sun hit the mountain tops, and everything slowly becomes more sunny. "If I lived forever you wouldn't be so beautiful..." etc. 

Anyway, pictures in the usual place. Since I took way too many I'd still like to show a sort of "best of", exclusive to my (2) LJ readers!!!!!

A stone fly!!!! Saw this on our second day, never saw anything like that before, and never saw it again.

Yes I made far too many lake/river pictures, seems to be an obsession this year. 

Mist walk.

Apart from marmottes, I tried to photograph some smaller animals as well. Didn't always work. But this was nice.

Because of the reflection on the water, this might be my favourite shot this year. 

I conquered the Col des Marches!! 2725m, and we started from around 1800m. Freezing cold up there!!

And there were a few marmottes there as well. 

Yes, too many water shots. (and this one "failed" because you can see the tip of my boot haha)

Last day. My dad is in this picture. Maybe you'll see him in the original size picture. 

"Green Lake". Have 20 pictures of that as well heh. 

Oh, as a bonus, here's my dad jumping over the river I talked about. 

Okay, that's it for this year :) 


[User Picture]From: jimjamjenny
2012-07-13 05:50 pm (UTC)
It looks sooo pretty :) I want to go!!
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