Alps log: day 4

I feel better. Tentatively. I knew my
body could tough it out. Me and this ol’ jalopy can get through anything. I drink your tap water right up.

Stage 4: Champex – Sembrancher – Le Chable
Dist: 13 km
El gain: 104m
Time: 3.5 – 4 hrs

Another valley hike. A tour through “working Switzerland”, even though I’m fairly sure half these houses are ski chalets in the winter.

I reenact at least one of the photos in my guidebook. Gorillapod and remote trigger syngery.

Sembrancher. Post Office. CLOSED. from 10:30 to 15:45. Is lunch time not the busiest time for the post office? I don’t care if this is town square has pleasant French and Swiss architecture, give me open and available parcel delivery services….

2 hrs through beautiful open value pastures.

Le Chable. Post office. Yesssssss. I buy two parcel boxes, drop my tent, sleeping bag, civilian clothes, water filter, stove, and a book in two packages and mail it to myself at the post office in Zermatt, for my pickup in
a fortnight. I am over 8 kgs lighter, skipping gaily. And with that, this trip has shed all delusion of a Wooley Survivorman Vision Quest, wherein I eat the flesh of animals I trap and nightly bathe in a tub of my own testerone. No, this is now my Happy Euro Jaunt Across the Alps, where the only hunting and gathering will be whatever i can gather into my shopping cart at Migros supermarket.

I find a room to stay (60 CHF, bed and breakfast). And head to the market to find something I can eat without needing a stove, or a spork. I find canned ravioli, a loaf of bread, and a carton of orange juice. I sit on the street curb, pry open the top with my can opener, and tear into it all, ravenous. Wait a second, this isn’t cheese fillng. I look at the ingredients in French and German: it says “schweinfleish”. Fuck is this pre-cooked??? French cooking directions say “20 min something something”. I seek out a pedestrian. “<excuse me, do you speak English?>”. “Yes I do.”
“Can you, um, tell me if this is raw, or, uh, cooked?”.
“This? You should warm it up.”
“I know. But is it okay to eat out of the can?”. I am now asking hobo questions to Swiss locals.
She laughs (LAUGHS), “yeah, you can, if you must, but it won’t be very good.” She walks away with her child in hand. Say goodbye to the strange hobo man.

I have decided to supplement these posts with some travel-inspired fiction. Lest you be confused–if, say, you are deaf to the fictional or ironics keys– I will delineate such entries with curly braces, the fanciful curves of the bracket instilling a phantomorgasmical air. (look at what a lighter pack does, I’m even becoming a little dandy.)

{ In Le Châble, I have taken on a new lover. She believes me to be an American writer of mild acclaim. Will you put me in your next story, love? she says. Certainly not, i say, there is adequate literature on trollopes and horse hair. She is ravishing, and tonight I oblige her. We are intertwined, she likes to tell me, do you not see? It is like a destined chemistry–how you say Le Magique Mysterié– between our two bodies. I dismiss her, Chemistry is a rubbish notion; is it ‘destined chemistry’ when a virtuoso lays his hand on any violin? Playing well is playing well. She purrs, then you have the fingers of Charles Mingus. I roll my eyes and pull blanket tighter around me, exposing her artificial appendage. She won’t care. It won’t get cold. }

Wireless Internet access. And sleep in a double sized bed. Above Escale restaurant.

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