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The Sketch

So after a day of not very much we were in the mood for a bit of doing something. Something more than sitting around and feeling tired. We chose to explore the nearby Via Ferrata. The weather still wasn’t great, but it was tolerable in that it wasn’t rainy and it wasn’t frighteningly hot. Both of those are good.

When we checked into the apartment in Luz they told us about a number of activities that could be done by residents at “special” rates. There was a brochure and everything. The Via Ferrata was one of those. This one is actually a combination of zip wires, via ferrata and Nepalese bridges. It’s operated by LuzAventure. We know the kids like this kind of thing. I’d never done one before but thought I should give it a go, for two main reasons. Firstly, this one was a 2km one-way trip with bus return that takes two hours. There’s no possibility of walking underneath and taking photos. And secondly, wimp!

Not Quite Yet

Back at the plot, Kas tried to book some places through the apartment reception. It turned out that they just phoned a reservation for us and gave us a hand-written chitty to take to the place as evidence it was us. We couldn’t get a morning slot, but were fairly happy with an afternoon one.

That left us with a few hours to kill. I suggested we fill an hour of it by looking for a cache. A little way down the valley was the so-called “New Bridge”. It’s a rather neat little wooden suspension bridge for pedestrians. We found the cache fairly easily.

After going back to the apartment for a sort of lunch, we then set off really early for the zip-line adventure. We weren’t really sure where we were going or what we needed to do. When we found the place we were much too early, and they asked us to come back later. Time, then, to try to find another cache. There were supposedly two at the foot of the Pont Napoleon, so we drove back there, which happened to be the end-point of the zip-line adventure, to see if we could see anything. It was a long walk down to the stream, which is where we thought the cache was. But when we arrived it proved a bit too difficult to find.


We eventually had to give up and go get on with our climbing, zipping and bridging experience.

The adventure proved to be excellent fun. It was quite hard work in places, but not ridiculously so. Some of the zip lines were really long (up to 250m) and some of the parts of via ferrata were definitely a bit upside-down. I was particularly fond of the Nepalese bridges. They moved really quite a long way when I was on them. I don’t think they were designed for someone of my weight.

At first we were quite slow, and it turned out that was because a couple of families had got themselves either side of us when they really wanted to be together.

The front ones were waiting for the back ones (so they could take videos). And the guy with the camera was at the very front. This meant that we kept getting people-jams at the less-than-large standing platforms. If they’d said they were all together we’d have let them go together. Ho hum! Just before halfway we got to one of the rest areas. It was possible to change the order of people on the safety rope, so we let them bunch up together. They were a lot faster after that.

The only problem we had really was that Izzy wasn’t heavy enough to get up the speed to reach the ends of the zip-lines, where they go back upwards a little. As a result, she kept needing Ami to help her off. On one of the longer ones, the guide took Izzy down with him. As a result she went much faster and made it to the end. Cool.

All in all, with the training section and the “catching the bus back” section, it took about three and a half hours to do. It was decent value and an excellent use of time. The apartment “deal” only got us about €5 off, but it was still not bad value for France.

Another go

As we were waiting under the Napoleon Bridge for everyone to finish, I decided to have another pop at the cache we’d failed to find earlier. This time it came to hand fairly quickly, as I spotted a loose rock I hadn’t noticed before. Result.

By the time we’d caught the bus back, dropped our equipment, retrieved the car keys and driven back to the bridge again it was just after 6 pm. The guys at the ice cream stall decided they had time for a few more customers, and were happy to serve us.

In the evening we had decided to stay in. We had pasta for dinner and settled back for a couple of beers. The weather for the following day looked, err, challenging.