We’ve made it!

We just completed the Tour de Mont Blanc!!!

We’re just in the car back to Milan now feeling pretty chuffed! We’re also hugely looking forward to showering as we’re very smelly….

We have a few days to post about as we had no signal for a few days! So here goes…

Our last update was just before our massive ascent, which we survived! It was just as tough as we expected, and every time we thought it was over we’d find we had more to climb. Anyway, we finally made it to the top and had a cooked lunch- such luxury! We had gnocchi with tomato sauce and sausages, and spent far too long lying on the grass, exhausted…

Here’s the view from lunch

It turned out that spending too long at lunch was a bad idea, a very bad idea… As we washed our plates and pans with snow, a thunderstorm started! We were really exposed and had to run down the side of the mountain. Alan wasn’t feeling well so this was a bit of a disaster. Suddenly it started pouring down and we had to leg it down to a bridge for some shelter. There was a river flowing under the bridge but we thought we’d be alright for a while, until it started to leak! Muddy brown water was pouring on top of us and our bags as we tried to pull our waterproofs on. This got so bad that we decided our best option was to continue our hike in the rain, rather than wait it out.

Finally we made it to our camping site for the night (which was free!). After the challenging day we had just had, we decided to eat at the local auberge for dinner (the thunderstorm was coming in waves). They would only take us for dinner at 7:30 so that meant we had to sit at a table playing card games for 2 hours while starving! Remember, we had been up since 5am… Finally we had a dinner of Beaufort tart, rabbit with mustard and tiramisu! Nice way to end a long day! We had the chats with some other hikers, guides, and even other Irish people!

That night was luckily uneventful and we woke up well-rested the following morning…

Ready for a day of hiking

We stopped by a local goat’s cheese shop in the morning and stocked up on fresh baguettes, cheese and nectarines. Great way to start a day!

Off we went towards Col de la Seigne, which is the border between Italy and France. It was a really warm day so we had a lot of ‘suncream stops’…

Cooling down in the shade

Beautiful Valley

Checking the road signs

The Italians got very excited at the border (the anthem was sung more than once) and we stopped for lunch soon afterwards.

The border

We hiked down to Rifugio Elisabetta, where we set up camp (Well, the boys set up camp).

Francy watching the boys sort out the tents

We ate a wonderful meal of pizza and risotto and pork and potatoes and cake!

Unfortunately we didn’t sleep too well due to ANOTHER thunderstorm and also the fact that we were on a slope near the top of a very windy valley!

We woke up this morning and quickly packed everything before heading up to the refuge for breakfast. Then we began our final day! As we were so wrecked we elected to take the cable car down (Carl’s first time!!) and cooked our lunch on the stove in a car park… Cringe…

Final update this evening!


2 responses to “We’ve made it!

  1. Well done to all of you!
    What a wonderful adventure.
    Dying to hear all the details, safe journey back to Milan. X

  2. carmel and Richard Schmidt

    Thank you all so very much for sharing your great experience with us all. Thank YOU AISLING for the update all along the way. We are enjoying a drink after a lovely dinner and REALLY looking forward to seeing Alan again tomorrow. We look forward also to meeting you all in Drogheda for a reunion hike, all be it a ‘Mickey Mouse’ one by comparison. Thank you, Carmel and Richard

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