We started the day with a bus ride. In order for us to get back on the TMB we needed to climb back up the mountain we came off of yesterday, but there is a road in front of Hotel Lavachey to Chalet Val Ferret. The trail picks back up there. Then you can start to hike. According to the guide this bus saves you a 90 minute descent from the refuge.
Ciao Italy. Bonjour Switzerland.
This was our coldest day. Our ascent to the border of Italy and Switzerland had lots of frost and even some snow. It was windy at the top and there were lots of icicles on the signage. The crossing is called Col de Ferret. The cold faded away quickly as we descended into the valley. One of the most noticeable differences in Switzerland is the cost of everything. In France, the cost of wine is barely worth mentioning and I don’t remember the Italians taking the time to even charge us for the booze. The efficient Swiss were quite the opposite. On our way down the mountain we stopped at a refuge for a lunch of beer and croûte au fromage and our bill was over $20.
We walked through pastureland until the bottom of the hill and the last hour was along the road into the sleepy town of la Fouly. We ditched our bags at the unnecessarily pretentious Hôtel Edelweiss and went to explore in town. One of my favorite memories of this trip happened that afternoon. We went to the local grocery and realized how serious the Swiss take chocolate. There was an entire chocolate aisle, with chocolate to spare. We loaded up on a couple of pounds of chocolate for gifts.
Dinner came with our stay at the hotel and it was an uninteresting curry chicken. We started the evening at the hotel bar, and when Spencer ordered an Irish coffee you would have thought we asked them to fly to Ireland. I want to say that the staff were stuck up and rude, but I fear they may have just been Swiss. We should have skipped the dinner and just checked out the local pizzeria.
We were in the dorm, but we were completely alone, so it was like we had a big room all to ourselves.
Take the bus from Hotel La Vachey to Chalet Val Ferret and start the day there. There is no need to walk back up the mountain to get on that trail. You will need to ask the guy at the front desk to make you a reservation on the bus, as it does not run on a set schedule.
I found Hôtel Edelweiss not very interesting. Try to look for some other accommodations.