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Hello and welcome to my blog formerly called Gypsy-K. Please note that I am only updating this blog while I am walking from Rome to Jerusalem from September 2015. My online home and permanent blog is at You can also sign up for pilgrim postcards and newsletters here. Thank you for being here and supporting my journey. With love and courage, Kym xx

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Day 39: Orsieres

Number of kilometres today: 21.3
Total kilometres walked from Canterbury: 1,021.6
Total steps since Canterbury:  1,447,663

It was steep and the paths were narrow barely lining the edge of the mountain.  Sometimes they were non-existent.  I climbed over rocks following painted yellow diamonds marking the way. I stepped carefully, wary of the tree roots that rose above the earth, of the loose gravel beneath my boots, of the steep inclines that could see me lose my footing or injure my knees.

Although I am scared of heights, I was never scared.  I laughed often and swore a bit too.. it was beautiful, like holy wow, where did my breath go.  It was challenging, taking 6.5 hours to walk 21 kilometres.  But I did it, by myself, and I found my own way.

Others said it was dangerous.  Even treacherous.  Unliked by many.
You can listen to the opinons of others but it is your own opinion and experience of a place, person, event or sitation that matters.

I am blessed. I am blessed. I am so, so blessed.  And if I am this blessed, then you are too.

I am also exhausted and ready for sleep. According to the guidebook, I ascended around 1.6 kilometres and descended 1.2 kilometres. It also took a lot of concentration to watch where I was stepping and how.

Tomorrow, is a short day, 15.1 kilometres to Bourg-Saint-Pierre.  The ascent only looks like it is around 800 metres based on altitude difference but it could be more.  And snow is forecast, tomorrow and Friday.  The cold and possibly slippery ice will probably be a challenge of its own but I will be one day closer to Great St Bernard Pass and halfway through my journey.

Le Bourg

Creek at the beginning of the woodlands

My first obstacle.  I couldn't wallk around it, to the right it drops away.  I couldn't pull it down and clear the path so there was only one thing to do...

pull off a few branches, take the Devil off my back and climb through it.

Narrow paths.  Autumn woods.

Steep path.

Sometimes there wer steps.

A steep drop but there is a chain.  

Climbed down there.  

There actually is a winding path there.

Rock climbing.

Some spectacular views

And it is Autumn.  I loved the colours of this leaf.

And then one hour and forty minutes later, the first section is over and I emerged into hilly vineyards in Bovernier.

Hillside sheep in Bovernier

Then back into the woodlands and more barriers.  At least this was easy to climb over.

Then the trail was replaced by moss covered rocks.

And rocky paths with steep drops

And I had to climb up a steep rocky ridge between the moutain and the motorway and I thought it was amusing.

Narrow path, steep drop.

Then I arrived into Sembrancher and got lost when I didn't understand the guidbook's directions.

I started singing Nevereding Story theme after I saw this cloud.  Reminded me of Falkor the Luckdragon.

Prayer flags are popular in Switzerland.

I loved this guy's horns.  Very cool.

This guy wasn't too sure about me.  He was snorting a bit.

Descending into Oriseres.


  1. your pictures are so gorgeous! I had an impediment like that en route to Bourg St Pierre--had to take off the beast and crawl beneath it while tossing it over it. Wanted to let you know advice from Marty Robinson who walked the VF with his son--if the weather is turning near the Pass, here's what he suggested:
    "One bit of advice is to walk the road the last bit to the hospice. Although it was July 8th or so, there were ice fields that prevented us from walking the last half mile or mile to the hospice on the trail. It was about 7 PM, and fog came in as we attempted to cross the ice fields, then rain and wind. The ice and fog were a real surprise. It was a little scary, frankly, so we found our way back to the road and continued. It will be obvious near the top when you should walk on the road; it's at a place where you cross the road to continue the trail. Instead, walk on the road. " (and I will tell you those trails near the top are quite rocky and precarious if slippery so it's good advice if you need it)

  2. I think the Martigny-Sembrancher bit is terrifying only if you are a vertigo sufferer. Otherwise, it is just dramatic!