I’ve had three zeros during this relaxed transition from the GR5 to the Walker’s Haute Route. Part of the break was not blogging. It was quite wonderful to be free of the nightly homework, but I also greatly value having it after my trips, so I wanted to do a brief one reviewing my triple zero. I spent a full day in Menton sleeping in, walking around the historic district, the shore, St Michel Church, Cemetery of the Old Château, and Val Rahmeh Garden. All of it I enjoyed greatly except the garden that was more like a large outside greenhouse.
The next day, I took a short train to nearby Nice. I had the day to walk around, but quickly tired of the city. I was definitely glad I chose to finish the GR5 on the recommended Menton alternate rather than Nice, which was far too large and touristy for me. I’ve seriously never seen so many tan people with gold chains, high heels, fancy sunglasses, and a perfected full body selfie pose.
That night, I used the European app, Blah Blah Car, to carpool with three solo guys for 5hrs to Chamonix. What a great option. I saved 80€/$90 and a ton of time carpooling rather than a bunch of bus and train rides. I did manage to leave my sunglasses in the car, which I realized the next day and will be getting back before I hike out. Close one!
The highlight of the triple zero was spending a full day with E! This is our fifth time overlapping along my hiking and our fourth country! We met briefly on the Continental Divide Trail in 2013, hiked the Great Divide Trail in Canada together in 2015, the Kings Canyon High Basin Route in California in 2016, E hosted me at her then home in New Zealand along the Te Araroa this past year, and now we are both here in Chamonix, whew!
E just finished the Walker’s Haute Route in Switzerland from Zermatt to Chamonix, the opposite direction that I’ll be going. I find it pretty awesome how our paths continue to cross all over the world. Someday, I need to take advantage of knowing that she works in Greenland and Antarctica and visit. We walked around Chamonix and ran some errands in the morning.
It’s the morning after the completing of the UTMB, the 103mi/166km ultramarathon that follows the route of the very popular Tour du Mont Blanc. I will have overlapped half the route after completing the GR5 and Haute Route, and I’m excited that I have time to pick up the the other half after the Haute Route.
We both are well ahead on our personal itineraries, and took today to CHILLAX. It was great. We got a room to ourselves at Gîte le Chamoniard Volant, and just hung out and caught up all day. It was pretty great and just what both of us were in the mood for. Tomorrow we both hike our respective ways. E has a handful of days and found a loop that caught her eye. I’ll be setting off into Switzerland, and am pretty darn excited this one is doable on this trip. I wasn’t sure I’d have the time. I’ll give more details on the Walker’s Haute Route in the next post in a day or two. We’re headed into the Swiss Alps everybody!!!
YAY, UTMB!!! I’d say it’s a bummer that you missed the finish, but I’m sure that Chamonix was much calmer when you arrived, plus I heard the weather was nasty for a good portion of the race.
Yeah, terrible timing for the race as it was great on the ends of it.
Hi Erin! I did the haute Route in 2010 with my son after he graduated from high school. Very memorable trip. It will be fun following along as you walk it. I do recall many spots that they did not allow tents, esp. near huts. One hut manager made some one move after they had set up a tent. They were quite a bit away from the hut too. I’m sure you already knew this, and have figured out where you can and cannot camp, and things may have changed since then too. Have a blast! You have inspired me to perhaps do the GR5 next summer!
Cool, you’ll love the GR5!
UTMB was a very exciting event this year, with probably the most competitive men’s field in the history of 100-mile races.
I’ve been to Nice in the distant past, but don’t remember all the bling. I guess places change.
Glad you had a great time with all the Zero’s and meet ups.
Seems like you chose the perfect place to meet up with E, and just hanging out with someone who gets you and vice versa.
And the ice ? cream!!! I am majorly craving, but resisting until I deserve it more.
Also glad you have missed fires that are creating bag of for hijers, wildlife, environment.. Glacier National Park, Columbia River . Gorge.. stupid fireworks.
Looking forward to the next route.
Hate to see this end, but I know you will enjoy your time off trail as well, where chocolate ? milk is plentiful and cold.
And my oversized hoodies!!!
Love those!! You obviously know how to chill and relax when the time comes.
Last year Vera Wang (Kohl’s) had these fabulous knee length nightshirts of soft fleece with hoods. I swear I lived in those and walking. In super cold weather, since I don’t have central heat and don’t beat the bedroom, those hoods were amazing. Actually they were great during the day too, with warm comfy pants.