There has never been a better time to visit these mountains! Really... We have spent the last few days on both the French and Italian side of the Tour du Mont Blanc and the trail is utterly spectacular.
See our trail update video blog here: TMB Trail Update July 2020
The flowers are in full bloom and the variety is astounding, from piercing blue forget-me-nots to blankets of stunning pink azalea. There must be a hundred different shades of green and the mountains stretch before you offering a veritable rainbow of colour.
The wildlife have taken back their land, with majestic eagles circling overhead and scores of butterflies fluttering around – their wings shimmering in the sunlight. Very close to the Bonatti hut we saw marmottes whistling to each other in amongst the lush alpine plants. And scores of bouquetins paid us no heed as we wound our way past them on their path – fabulous…
And the reason everything looks so fresh and vibrant and wonderful is because the plants have been left to grow as they please and the animals have been able to wander unhindered for all these months – even wolves are now back on the French side of the Alps, following their uninterrupted Spring.
And what better holiday to take than one outdoors. Where you have time do drink in the marvels of the mountains and where social distancing is simply not a problem. These mountains are HUGE and so out on the trails you meet very few people - and have buckets of room to keep at a safe distance anyway.
Although it has been absolutely awful for all of us to be unable to plan our getaways, it also means that right now the mountains don’t have any large tourist groups, there aren’t the usual crowds in the towns and villages at the foot of the mountains and there is room for the refuges to be able to welcome guests with proper social distancing.
In the mountain huts we were welcomed by people wearing masks into quiet communal areas where everything has been sanitized. We also had to wear masks indoors, except whilst eating or in our rooms. Food service heeded the new guidelines with ease, with meals served to you rather than you helping yourself. And boy was the food delicious! Just the fact that someone else had made and served the food was a treat in itself to be honest! There was plenty of space at mealtimes and plenty of space in the dorms as the refuges are adhering strictly to the new rules.
This year has been like no other, it couldn’t have begun much worse and all we know is that we cannot be sure how 2020 will end. But right now, today, we are free in this part of the world…And we deserve to be out on the trails, breathing the wonderful fresh mountain air. We have been cooped up like animals for so long that it is us that need to stretch and be free.