Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Tuesday 1 September 2009 - Kebabed in Kandersteg

Blue skies have reigned supreme for most of today, so we felt obliged to take advantage of them despite being a bit tired.

The Öeschinensee cablecar whisked us expensively up the first 500 metres (perhaps we should have bought passes, but we didn't expect to be using the cablecars so much), and an easy 20 minute stroll brought us to the lake, where we luxuriated in a restaurant with cold drinks.

It's people watching territory. We observed as family groups and bunches of youths played in the blue boats, jumping in and out of the lake. Clearly my thoughts yesterday that the holiday season was drawing to a close were premature! Sue thought it reminiscent of Nice, but here the bikinis were more like the traditional two piece items, as opposed to the Nice variety with the missing tops.

It was amusing to see the bathing area shared with a somnolent herd of cows - especially as there were lots of dogs wandering about (no traffic = no dog leads). I noticed one bemused animal get a friendly lick from a cow.

Today's picture was taken amidst this scene of domestic tranquillity. I didn't realise at the time, but Sue appears to have been speared by the boatman's canopy!

We'd spent all morning getting this far, and there were paths to bag. So we ambled (and I use the word 'ambled' advisedly) off towards Hohtürli - a high 2778 metre pass that we had no intention of reaching. Our plan was to head up 400 metres to Ober Bergli, then walk back to the cablecar station via a high level belvedere that just HAD to be walked.

Movement in an uphill direction soon became a problem for me. Nausea set in and frequent stops were needed. Heat stroke? (it was 32C even up here), dehydration? - I'd just had a long drink. It was a mystery that Sue attributed to a toboggan ride that I'd enjoyed at the top cablecar station having addled my insides.

[It was a good ride, especially for one who has an aversion to braking whilst speeding down such a metal causeway!]

Everyone, yes Everyone, overtook us as we struggled up to our 1980 metre high point, pausing on the way for drink stops, lunch, people coming down wired sections, people overtaking, photos of the view, photos of flowers, and for me to catch my breath and overcome the waves of nausea. I felt as if I'd been wound around a long stick and was being toasted or kebabed under the hot sun.

We made it. Eventually. And our pauses should result in some pleasing images despite the height of the sun and the heat haze. (Here's Sue at our lunch spot above Under Bergli.)

A fountain (spring coming from a tap) at Ober Bergli was used to refuel our water bottles. Sue's transparent bottle gained a leech; mine is opaquely green; the water was lovely despite any chewy bits.

The path contouring above the lake was a delight, absolutely brilliant - a wonderful path with immaculate views. Blighted initially by aircraft noise, the huge bowl in which the lake sits then reverberated to the melodic sound of an alpenhorn. It became louder as we reached a rocky promontory overlooking the lake. The sounds were emanating from a couple with a huge horn - 10 feet long at least. After listening for a while I was about to record one of their numbers when they packed up the horn (it concertinaed into a package less than a metre long) and wandered on along the path.

By 3.30 we were back near the cablecar. Sue used that for descent whilst I stumbled down path 13, through pleasant woods with cows sheltering from the heat, and steep meadows where locals were busy bundling their harvested grass ready for it to be taken down to the valley by helicopter. (Hire cost less value of grass = subsidy? I wondered.)

Interestingly, from a near cloudless sky at 4 pm, half an hour later the whole sky had clouded over, and by 5 pm the friendly ginger cat had joined us under our canopy to watch the first drops of tonight's storm. We were expecting it.

We need a rest!

Next day

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