Tour du Mont Blanc: Time to return to this amazing trail

 

Look to the left for a slice of Courmayeur on the left after our climb.

The TMB is clearly marked in Italy. It was not so well marked in France.

It was “ciao” to Courmayeur, Italy today after a day of rest in the Alps resort city. The Tour du Mont Blanc has been more than challenging for us, so we needed the break.

Walking into a new country was a new experience on Saturday. We heard “buon giorno” more often than “bonjour” almost immediately and by the time we walked into Courmayeur, it was clear we were no longer in France. We will leave the specific cultural differences for another time, but we noticed them in the city and most definitely along the trail.

Of course, today started with a steep, 2,500-foot climb, but after that it was the easiest hiking day of the Tour so far. We walked about ten miles at 6,500 feet overlooking a steep glacial valley. The Mont Blanc range on the other side seemed close enough to touch. It was stunningly beautiful.

After a steep descent, we found our hotel in another resort town, Levechy, next to a roaring river at the foot of the Alps. A shower and a beer on the deck made for a perfect cap to the day. Dinner tonight in the hotel, part of the package deal.

The warm weather is supposed to hold for at least another day and the guide book says we will have another amazing look at the Tour's namesake as we cross into Switzerland at 8,000 feet tomorrow. That means another steep climb and “ciao” to Italy for now. We will return!

At the bottom of the Italian side of the Alps, if you look closely, is the tunnel entrance. The road goes under Mont Blanc and comes out in Chamonix, France.

This is a closer look at the tunnel entrance.

Sue sits in our shady picnic spot next to the trail. The Mont Blanc range was in the perfect spot.

This was the TMB for much of the day. Few rocks, relatively flat. The first day we have seen such a path on this trek.

Is it the view or the beer that makes the trek worthwhile?

Thank you, Silvia, at Follow the Camino tour company, for finding us lodging here.

Refugios have been so welcoming, allowing us to have our picnic even though we only bought a coffee at their bar. Today, we found one with a most unwelcoming message in each table. We found a warmer place for lunch.

 

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