Still, we have a hotel booked in Champex so might as well get on and do it. But time enough to plunder the breakfast bar first, under the watchful gaze of the rather officious owner. A hapless group of middle aged Israeli women made the mistake of ignoring the sign about not taking breakfast food for a picnic, and were told off. "I saw you taking the food! Some people haven't had breakfast yet!". We would never dream of doing such a thing. Oh no.
We planned to stay longer, lingering over wifi and coffee, but the sun was getting stronger and these valley walks are always a bit warmer without the altitude so we set off through La Fouly and then crossed the small dam and into the woods by the river. The sunshine was hot on our necks and without any real gradient to worry about we ambled along chatting. Above us a waterfall tumbled down the flanks of the mountain.
We continued on through the woods and found ourselves walking over such a sharp, straight ridge that it felt manmade, until we read that it was actually the ridge of a moraine formed by some vast, long-gone glacier.
In the next village, Issert, we stopped for lunch by the roadside. Spaghetti for me and the lad, and a cheese omelet for herself.
All morning we had walked down hill, but after lunch we knew it was time to start going up to Champex which we could see on a ridge about fifteen hundred feet above us. After hours spent coasting and then a heftyish lunch we were not ready for any work. The path was steep, the air was sticky and we were feeling distinctly post-prandial. The path up through the woods is known as the "mushroom trail" and every so often there are notice boards advising passing funghists about which ones will be delicious and which ones will kill you. Local artists have also set up a series of wooden sculptures every ten minutes or so up the track, which are rather nice.