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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

MBT Stage 2: Les Contamines to Bonhomme de la Croix

Day 2 of the trek would have us trekking from Les Contamines to our first refuge Croix de la Bonhomme. We woke up, had a bowl of cereal and caught the free local bus to the trail head at Notre Dame de la Gorge.
The start of the trail is a gradual ascent up slate rock which later turns into gravel road, which then turns into dirt foot path that winds its way through some of the most spectacular scenery.

Great view of the trail we just hiked up.The sun was cooking our shoulders/arms and would get worse.

We continued on the trail passed a pile of boulders and rocks placed to
commemorate a hiker who parished in a storm in 2005.

Here we met a Scottish couple that were kind enough to take our photo and lend us some much needed sunscreen.

The scenery just gets more spectacular with different shades of blues, greens, whites, and greys.

We enjoyed some more chorizo, tomatoes, apple, cheese and a hint of wine we hiked up in our platypus.
We continued up this path towards Col du Bonhomme (2329m) and which is a perfect place for lunch. There was a very angry sheep there that was chasing all the hikers and making an awful sound, it was humorous. We relaxed here for a long time, feeling the sun on our faces, peering out at the colorful mountains and checking out the wooden bivouac shelter.

Although I did not want to give up this spectacular view we hiked over the Col de la Croix de la Bonhomme in anticipation of the afternoon scenery and the our first refuge of the hike.
Just as were coming over a ridge I saw what appeared to be a wooden building down below surrounded by mountains.

Refuge Bonhomme de la Croix

Trekking down the refuge, with a sweet sweet backdrop!

The stone part is the only part that survived WW II invasion.

Relaxing on the grounds around the refuge.

The view from the refuge.
Enjoying some wine after a long day trekking.
Uber Relaxed!

The owner and chef with the wicked fro.

We anxiously waited for 7pm for dinner to be served.

Sunsetting over Mt. Pourri (3779m)
- again the sweet sweet view from the refuge.

Summary of Stage II

Route: Alternative
Total Hours: 7 hours
Total Kilometers: 18km
Height Gain: 1579m (Col des Fours)
Height Loss: 929m
Accommodations: Refuge Croix du Bonhomme
Cost: 88€ for 2 adults demi-pension
(i.e. bed, dinner, breakfast for 2).
Meal: Dinner was soup and homemade bread;
pasta in a white cream sauce;
delicious stewed beef with carrots;
a massive cheese platter for dessert
with large homemade biscotti
and a ½ Litre of red wine.

*If carrying your own food the refuge has a room with a couple burners to boil water and cook.
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