Monday, November 5, 2012

Switzerland - The Cost of Pristine Views

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37 miles - Saturday, September 17

Time to buckle down on expenses. And though we can’t cut food from already voracious appetites, we can forego pastry shops and bottles of wine. We buy yogurt for protein. Bananas and bread are ample calories for breakfast and snacks. We savor one expensive jar of instant coffee; the plan is to stretch it for as long as possible.

Accommodation is another story. Camping is undoubtedly the cheapest way to go; no shaving there. One USD buys .8 Francs. Showers cost for each of us, and had it not been for a two day hiatus, we’d have likely passed on that regimen. If the first campground is indicative, we’ll be near and probably a bit over our 30.00 per day budget.

Oh, but what a compromise for bike lanes, clean roads, public toilets (hallelujah!) and the most breathtaking mountain scenery! The light rain eases as we approach Luzerne. Snow-capped rocky summits suddenly become visible between a church and a shuttered building as we cruise along its narrow main street. I am beside myself with joy.
We push onward and stop early, taking advantage of a comfortable looking 4-Star campground. Andy and I are initially afraid it will be pricey, but the off-season 15.00 SWF expense is reasonable, which includes showers. We brightened, for the 50sF temperatures hadn’t risen all day. We prize the daylight and walk along the edge of a beautiful lake and into a neighboring village. On the return trip the view clears even more.

There is a chill in the air. It’s the middle of September in Switzerland. Snow shadows our thoughts. We wonder if we’ll be able to hike or even cross Saint Bernard Pass, a dream of mine. And that’s still days away.

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