Saturday, October 6, 2012

Tessin (and the Hut that Wasn’t).

So on Friday we took Derek and Brooke to the Italian part of Switzerland—Tessin—specifically the Verzasca Valley which I love love love.  We went about two years ago and it was wonderful, so I couldn’t wait to go back.  Everything looks so different there!

As a bonus, we saw a helicopter.


The whole valley is so beautiful with the little stone villages and the gorgeous gorgeous water.


We ate lunch by the river and threw lots of rocks and dunked some kids in.


I was glad that Derek seemed to like this place a lot, he kept talking about how much fun it would be if all the kids and family could come, and we could jump in from here, and have a little pool here just for the little kids, and oh, over here is another good spot, etc. etc.  Just how I feel too—I wish everyone could come enjoy this!  (Of course, we talked about the need for a lifeguard or thirty for all the grandkids.)


Then Derek and Brooke left us to go to Milan Italy, while we went off to hike up the mountain to stay in a mountain hut for the night.  Exciting, right??  I had been wanting to do this for quite some time and had been foiled by bad weather or whatever it was.  But at last, we had it reserved, we had our bags packed, and we ready to go to Bardüghè hut!

Okay, so this is what I read online: 

With its breathtaking views over Lake Maggiore from the Bardüghe Alp, the hut is reached via a winding but effortless track, making it well suited to family outings. The walk from the village of S. Antonio near Vogorno  takes 2.5 hours (of which half an hour along paved roads and the rest along trails).

So naturally I’m expecting a fairly easy hike taking probably more than 2.5 hours, but not THAT much more, since they SAY that it’s effortless and well suited to family outings.  First thing is that we get to where we park and read this sign telling us that it’s 3 hours and 20 minutes, not 2.5 hours.  Strike one.


But we got the backpacks on the kids (they all carried their own pajamas, sheet, rain jacket and water) and started up.  And it was a cool walk, by vineyards and stone houses at first.


Then through some woods and passed some shrine thingees (obviously, we are very close to Italy).


Then the trail started climbing and let me tell you it was certainly NOT effortless.  It had DEFINITE incline for the next, oh, two and half hours.  Like, really steep!  Strike 2.  The kids did really good though, and even though poor Talmage thought every run-down little pile of stones building we passed was our hut, he did keep going really well.  I told a story, and then Hazel told a story and then Ethne told a …story.  (Tip:  don’t ever ask Ethne to tell you a story.  She does NOT. EVER. STOP.  It’s really rough.)


Tree in the trail.


But Ethne made it through the ordeal.


And then, after about 3.5 hours, we got to this lovely clearing!  And the sun was just lighting it up soooooo beautifully!!  And we all sat down at this bench and had some snacks and a rest.  And I took a whole ton of pictures because do you see how gorgeous that light is?!


And then we looked up, and we saw these huts, and I kindof hoped that was our destination, but alas, it wasn’t.  So we kept going, and we got up close enough to them to read the sign, and it said, “Bardüghè hut: 2 hours.”  ???!?!!?!?!?!  TWO HOURS?!   And you know what that lovely light means, right?  That it was going to get dark soon because the sun was on its way down.  So Brett and I talked and said should we keep going?  And we didn’t quite know what to do.  Brett said we would have to pick up the pace, and that maybe he could carry my backpack (which was heavy because it had all the food and stuff in it) as well as Orrin, so that I could carry Talmage, and then we could go faster…  and so we carried on for just a little bit farther (not switching packs around yet or anything) and I decided that we probably couldn’t really increase our pace even if I did carry Talmage, and that I did not want to be out in the dark on a trail with the kids, and have it get cold, etc.  Strike 3.  So, we turned around.


(I don’t know what in the world happened that made the trees look magically on fire, but it was pretty cool.)


I took a last few pictures of the pretty light, and then we hoofed it back down the mountain really quickly.   Brett took Talmage by the hand and pretty much drug him down the mountain—he did actually slide/get dragged quite a bit—and oh my goodness did Orrin think that was HI-LARIOUS.  He was laughing like he was crazy every time Talmage would trip and get dragged and it was so so so so funny. 


We got back down to the van in about an hour, I think, right at dusk.


Then, we drove home.  Such a disappointment.  But, at least we survived to tell the tale.  We really will make it to a hut one of these days.  Maybe one that has a cable car going right to it.  :)  Or at least we will know to start hiking about three times the length of time they say it will take us BEFORE we want to be there.

The end.


Andrea said...

That's disappointing. Not to mention annoying. Pretty though.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful pics. I would love for all of us to be together at that beautiful spot jumping in that gorgeous colored water. Sorry it didn't work out. that was quite the hike! Your kids are so in shape -- they get to hike every week-end and walk to school everyday. Lovely.
Wonderful to see you all. Love you and miss you. Give all the kids a big hug and kiss from Grandma. Love you all. Grandma R.

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