After a pretty crummy summer (weather-wise) in Vevey, I was REALLY excited about a lovely fall weekend! I also knew that after three weeks of eating A LOT of not-so-good-for-me American food, I could stand to get moving. Some friends were up for a hike, which was perfect! They took the train up to Les Pleiades, but I opted to drive up to meet them (giving me 45 extra minutes of sleep on Saturday morning!). One of my guy friend’s had a sister in town, and my other friend brought his [white] dog.
The train basically drops you at the top of the mountain. There are some lovely views of Vevey below, and I had some lovely views of the countryside on my drive up.
I am well planned and very organized in a lot of areas, but I don’t understand how hiking trails work around here. So, I was not much help to the group. We took off down a trail, and as we entered into a wooded area, it got muddy pretty quickly. I don’t particularly like to be dirty, so I was dodging the mud as best I could. While I wasn’t in sandals (those of you who know my track record on mountains over here know that is a victory), I was in my mostly white running shoes, not my hiking boots. (When will I learn?!?)
We walked downhill until we came out next to where I parked my car. We opted to walk further down that road to the larger parking lot where there was signage about various trails. We picked one that looked good to us, but the markings on the trails didn’t match those on the sign, so we were kind of winging it. Along the way, we encountered more mud, then paved roads, then wooded areas, then more paved roads…it was so strange. We would be on a path that looked “hike-like,” but then we would find ourselves on a road with cars driving by. There were several forks in the path along the way. We would generally vote on a direction as a group and keep going. I don’t know if anyone knew where we were going. I definitely didn’t. After we had been walking for quite some time, we got to a pretty steep drop off. We opted to press on, so down we climbed into serious mud. So much for trying to avoid it. At this point, I was hoping not to lose a shoe in it! I only fell once – sliding down a couple of “steps” in the side of the mountain. No broken bones and no blood. After that, one of the guys found me a walking stick (which was more like a walking tree) to carry for the rest of our trek.
We didn’t pass a single restaurant along the way, but thankfully, we had survival food…meat sticks, peanut M&M’s, two bananas, a train station sandwich, and water. (And a stash of clementines and Kid Cliff bars, if we really needed them.) Our only “close call” was when we encountered a herd of cows blocking the path. More importantly, a baby calf was in the path. The mama cow and many of the others made it very clear that we were not to come any closer, so we took the long way around their pasture – dodging cow patties along the way. At one point, we had to cross over a wire on the ground at the edge of a pasture. We all stepped over it without touching it, but sweet Elly, my friend’s dog, stepped on it and yelped. Apparently, it was an electric fence for the cows! Poor thing.
After about 3.5 hours, we found ourselves in Les Paccots (where we snowshoed earlier this year). (Later, Google Maps told me we hiked roughly 7.5 miles.) At that point, our option was to hike back (no, thank you) or bus back to Vevey via another town. The bus arrived quickly, but the journey took us 45 minutes or so.
Now, if you recall, I opted to drive up to meet them this morning, which meant I had to take the train from Vevey 45 minutes up the mountain to get my car! Next time, I’m taking the train from the start! And next time, I’m wearing some hiking boots! Our muddy adventure resulted in me throwing this pair of shoes away!
Because of this hike, I didn’t make it to the grocery store, which means I still don’t really have food at my apartment. Thankfully, I got to enjoy a delicious Italian dinner at my boss’ place with several other colleagues on Saturday night. This was also the first time that I got to meet his new baby! She is two days older than my niece and an absolute doll!
My boss’ mom is in town, and “Nonna” made a delicious Italian meal for all of us! What a treat!
Tonight, my sweet Purina friend had me over for dinner. She has limited resources in her tiny kitchen, but she managed to whip up a feast…scallops, brussel sprouts, and gnocchi with blue cheese! It was amazing!
We feasted on her balcony enjoying the cool, autumn evening…catching up on the past month’s activities and making plans for future adventures together. It was delightful!
Oh, Switzerland, it’s good to be back!