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Alpine Crossing 2013 – Day 34: Rifugio Martre – Agriturismo Lou Saret

The breakfast this morning was formidable. We had different kinds of cornflakes, bread, cookies and coffee of course. The first hour we walked along a lake up to a small village “Ponte Chianale” where we were able to buy bread, cheese and sausage. Buying something in Italian language already works quite good – as long as no further questions result from the order :) From here we climbed up about 700m to a pass. From here we saw Monviso one last time. We then followed a long long long road down to the next valley. Our plan for today was to walk to Rif. Meleze. When we arrived in the valley on the main road we still had 1 hour to walk. However, within the last 20 minutes the blue sky turned very dark. It was quite scary. On one side (where we didn’t want to go) the sky was blue. On the other side (of course where we wanted to go) the sky was closed by dark clouds. Somehow this situation reminded us of the day when we arrived in Usseglio – when the thunderstorm started. So we decided to walk to the direction where we actually didn’t want to go – to a small village named Chiesa. It was only a 15 minute walk. During this time we were overtaken by the dark clouds above our heads. When we realized before we were right on the boundary between blue sky and dark sky. So far there was no rain…just clouds. We even made some photos and some jokes about this weird situation – we will be safe in 15 minutes. “orage” the French word for thunderstorm is one of the first words we learnt in France at the beginning of our tour. So we created the word play “l’orage der Arsch” (“Arsch” is the German word for ass) :) . We checked the weather reports to be sure (the Italian one, the German one and the Italian map for extreme weather). Everything was fine…and despite that it was just 1pm. Just seconds later a loud kaboom came from the dark clouds. Then a heavy rain started. We ran like idiots until we reached a mountain hut in the village nearby. We were quite glad that we again escaped the thunderstorm in the last second. Outside the heavy rain and thunder party started…and lasted only for 20 minutes. Then it was gone as fast as it came before. Unfortunately the mountain hut was already fully booked. So we had to find another accommodation for tonight – probably because it was Saturday. By phone we called another hut to make sure there is still a place left for us. This was difficult since the owner only spoke Italian and French. Actually no problem but via mobile phone and a bad connection the communication was quite exhausting. Anyway there was still a free room and so we walked to Chiazale about another hour. One thing to mention is that we passed another small village named “Celle” – actually the name of the village where I was born in Germany :) Anyway…the room was ok and the dinner as well.After this experience with the weather we descided to split the path planned for tomorrow in two days. The weather forecast does not look so nice for tomorrow.

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