Walk to Lac d’Arbey

The male ‘half’ of the Preece family were keen to repeat their walk of last year, along the ‘Exhibition’ path to Lac d’Arbey, so off we went…  At least this time we had no ‘glowing’ images (which I think must be down to the angle of the sun and my camera recognising the ‘back lighting’ and so taking 3 pictures, which obviously don’t get merged together correctly).

As I’ve posted many images of this walk before, I’ve tried to pick out something different and concentrate more on those pictures around Lac d’Arbey, which looked magnificent in the Autumn sunshine.

La Forclaz Walk revisited

The Preece family are back – and, again, they are all of a glow!  Long time followers may remember that last year, my camera had a slight aberration where Jo and Oliver had a sort of glow or ‘halo’ effect on one of my pictures.  Well, it had never happened before and it hasn’t happened since, but today it happened again, (see pics 11 and 13).  I’m not sure what caused it, but I am beginning to wonder whether they are radioactive! 🙂

After following the path up to La Forclaz from Les Haudères, David, Rosie and Oliver took the direct route back, while Alex and I took the path back home via La Sage.

Alpage de l’Etoile (Walk 17) via La Niva

Another blue sky day, another walk… 🙂  And, again, a walk that I’ve not done for two years, the last time being in August 2015.  But this time, I decided to extend it slightly by going via the Mayens de la Niva, which is a small cluster of wooden chalets, perched part way up the slope opposite our chalet.  Summer and holiday residents have long gone, so it was an extremely peaceful place to take in the maginificent views across the valley, which included a peek at the Matterhorn, (see pic 14).

However, before you all hop on a plane or train to take advantage of this beautiful weather, be warned that we have snow forecast for tomorrow and/or Monday, but things do brighten up again after that! 🙂

Route de la Fornéije (Evolène) Flora and Fauna

I mentioned in my previous post that there were still a few alpine flowers and butterflies around in the Val d’Hérens.  Indeed, on my way back from the shops, I noticed quite a surprising variety by the side of the road up to our chalet.  So I decided to take a wander and capture as many as I could before they all disappear until next year…

I’ve done my best to identify each one of them, but I cannot be sure about some.

Pointe du Tsaté Walk

It’s almost 2 years since I did this walk – up to the Pointe du Tsaté at 3,078 metres (or 10,078 ft) from La Forclaz (VS) at around 1800 metres (or 5,900 feet).  The last time, I had to negotiate some early season snow towards the top, but not on Sunday… Indeed, dehydration and sunburn were more of a concern under the blazing sun!  The 360 degree view from the top is simply amazing (even I had a little ‘wow’ moment to myself as I crested the ridge), with more peaks than I could name on the horizon and the impossibly blue Lac de Moiry way down below in the adjoining valley. (See pic 10).

As Sarah, Karl and I set off from the top, we noticed some parascenders preparing to take off, so I paused to take some pics…  The conditions must have been ideal, as they soon soared, effortlessly, high up into the air.  There were also a few flowers and one or two butterflies, still clinging on to the last of this Indian summer.

Kreuzboden – Monster Trotti descent

My daughter, Sarah, her fiancé, Karl, and my sister Karen are visiting us for a few days.  Karen likes to see new parts of Switzerland, so we took them around to Saas Grund.

There are many ways to descend a mountain – by ski, snowboard, bike or even parascend, but none can be more fun than a Monster Trotti… 🙂  So after a quick walk around the lake, we were off…

As if to prove how easy it is to take great pictures in Switzerland, I’ve posted three of Karen’s pictures below, all taken with her new Lumix/Panasonic DMC-TZ60 point and shoot camera.  (I really should get Panasonic to sponsor me!)

Birthday boy – still Bobbing Along…

Today, I’m very pleased and proud to say, is my dad Bob’s 94th birthday.  I’ve just spoken to him and he’s on top form, as usual.  🙂  It also seems an appropriate moment to mention his book, or Memoirs – called Bobbing Along.

It’s been a long time in the making and publication, as it started life in the 1980’s as series of typed anecdotes, which were all stored in a folder.  Some years later, my younger brother, Steve, scanned these into pdf form, just in case the originals were ever lost.  Then late last year, I thought it might be a good idea to get them made into a book.  So I ran the pdf files through some OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software and turned them into a series of Word documents.

Somehow all the a’s became anything but a, so after around 3 months of editing and a bit of tweaking here and there, the finished document was sent off (electronically of course) to Book Printing UK (who, I have to say, were very good).  Three weeks later a physical proof copy was duly sent to me here in Switzerland to check.  A couple of minor modifications were made (mainly to the book cover) and we ordered 30 copies (for delivery in the UK) to distribute amongst our family.  (Sorry, it’s not available in the shops or online I’m afraid!)

See the Contents picture below, but the book is more or less his life history – from being a child, growing up in Hounslow, Middlesex, to joining the Royal Navy, where he became a Signalman and travelled all around the world.  (It wasn’t until he was in his 80’s that he travelled anywhere by plane!)  After the War, while on leave, he went to stay with his aunt and uncle in Yorkshire and that’s where he met my mum.  The rest, as they say, is history… 🙂

No Name Lake revisited

Back in June I posted something about my attempts to capture that classic ‘reflection shot’ in a lake with no name, situated at 2,900m or 9,514 ft, above Arolla.  I was thwarted that day by the lake still being frozen, but I vowed to return later in the year, when the skies were blue, (i.e. yesterday).

My hopes were not high when we awoke to overnight frost and, worse still, during the ascent, there was ice on the path (pic 7), in a stream (pic 10) and on a small pond below the lake (pic 11).  Imagine my surprise then, when I arrived to find only one edge was still frozen.  🙂

As you will see (pics 13 and 14) the lake itself is nothing spectacular, but the opportunities it affords the photographer, (not me obviously), are enormous.

Sardinia (Part 2 of 2)

For the second half of our holiday we moved our base further north to Porto Pozzo, staying in the Villa Nicoletta B&B.  We were extremely well looked after by Giovanni, who provided us with a choice of more Sardinian cakes and biscuits for breakfast than you could eat in a week!

I think it’s fair to say that the north and west of Sardinia is much quieter and more rural than the north east.  We found ourselves almost alone on many of the beaches.  I guess that’s the advantage of travelling in late September/early October.  🙂

We also took a boat trip around the La Maddalena islands, which is a ‘must do’ for any visitor.