Day 1 - Les Houches - Bionnassy - Les Contamines
This trip was different than the previous Great Treks as my companion was no longer the “Mighty” Kirk or a friend, but instead my beautiful, new wife Jennifer. Our journey to trek the Alps was probably logistically the simplest of any of the Great Treks. In stark contrast to the long multi-day excursions with extensive layovers, this was a relatively quick red-eye from Philadelphia to Paris and then a connection to Geneva. We then were just a bus ride away from the start of the TMB.
We hit the trail early, but quickly got lost. The lack of signs was definitely a foreshadowing of things to come. So we pulled out our trusty guidebook, for the first but not the last time, and it directed us to the proper start. The trail climbed steeply. From the very first step we struggled. The relentless incline upward gave us no hint it would ease. After a little over two hours we reached the small town at the pass of Col de Vosa situated by a train station shuttling the less adventurous visitors up and down.
When we arrived in Les Contamines complications began. The inexpensive nearby hostel was full. Walking to the next cheapest lodging meant a long trek out of town, clearly unacceptable. So we compromised our budget on the first night, gave in and stayed in an inexpensive hotel.
The story continues...