Saint Maurice to Martigny

Hi to everyone!

Well here we are in Martigny…a lovely, seemingly quite wealthy town…surprising really, as it is nestled in this narrow valley which at first glance appears to provide very few opportunities for capital gain. On the surface the distant mountains, especially Mt Catogne, which is ever present in our view…draws you up the valley, giving the impression that the sole purpose for being here is to be led over the pass into the arms of Italy. However on reflection….this area supports a wide range of industries…tourism, hydro electricity and wine, just to name a few.

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I took this photo this afternoon when we visited the St Bernard dog Museum in Martigny. It’s a little hard to view but if you look closely you can see the track we have taken so far from Aigle and the track which we will follow tomorrow UP the valley from Martigny. Tomorrow the going is going to be a whole lot tougher. The walk is again about 20 kms, which is what we have been trying to achieve in this section of our journey but apparently it’s the most treacherous section of the entire VF route. It appears there are sections along narrow tracks which have steep drops and cyclists have been forbidden to ride it. The alternative is walking along an equally dangerous motorway with no shoulders on which to retreat when confronted with a barrage of traffic. We have been treated to amazing weather today, warm almost tropical conditions…completely what we least expected in this part of our walk!! Tomorrow is promising to deliver the same, so the conditions will be perfect for walking this section of track. We have very wisely I think ….clever girls: ) arranged to have our packs directly transported by taxi to our hotel in Orsieres. The absence of the weight of the packs on our backs is very reassuring when considering the journey tomorrow.

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Mt Catogne…our guide up the valley : )

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Sorry….. lots of dog photos taken at the museum! They were soooooo beautiful!!! The St. Bernard is no longer used up at the pass and have been superseded by German Shepherds due to superior training ability and lighter configuration : ) Their legacy lives on however through this museum…a lot was to be learned today of their support for travellers heading over this area of Switzerland in days gone by.

This morning we set off a little later than we would have liked..but the walk to Martigny was only 18 kms so we could afford ourselves plenty of time. We had breakfast at the hotel with another Aussie, Chris, who is cycling around Europe…can’t remember exactly his route…but it’s a very long way : ) it was lovely to chat with a fellow countryman and I wish him well along his journey : )

It wasn’t very far down the track where we discovered food!! A slight preoccupation of ours..sadly what seems to be eventuating is…after consuming our fill at breakfast… we then conspiratorially gather extra cheese and bread from the breakfast bar and wrap them unseen under the tablecloth, then stride out nonchalantly..noses in the air : )

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A few more photos for you…. but now I’m ready for my bed : )

Love to all….interesting day tomorrow : )

Netia X

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