Thursday, 3 September 2009
Thursday 3 September 2009 - Hotel Restaurant de la Forclaz
Sue and I started and finished the Tour of Mont Blanc here in 2000, and I more recently spent a night here with The South Africans on the Walkers Haute Route.
I've been here in scorching heat, with cold beers being downed ten to the dozen by hordes of folk enjoying the mountain views from the tables pictured in today's forlorn scene.
I've seen the furled brollies flapping in wind and rain enough to terrorise the hardiest of campers.
I've never camped here, despite carrying a tent - the draw of the cosy hotel has always overpowered my more frugal or 'love of being outdoors' instincts.
We passed by today. The weather was moderately benign (we saw only one careless hat being blown away), no fleece was needed over the t-shirt, only a few spots of rain flecked past us, and there were some pleasantly sunlit views amongst the grey uniformity.
Most patrons were inside, sipping beer or tea, some reading papers; others were arriving from the low level route from Champex. They were hugging their hats.
A typical afternoon at the Hotel Restaurant de la Forclaz, I suppose.