There are only two times in my life where I was on the side of the road at some ridiculous hour and had to walk to my camp site. The first time was during a week-long survival course in the United States complete with my very own authentic nature event… aka a monsoon and a few black bears to scare the bejesus out of me. Having the added adrenaline rush for each and every adventure is really nothing new; I actually welcome adventure with open arms. So, I was ready for anything that was about to be thrown at me in the Swiss Alps.
These random adventures are nothing new to me. In fact, I love random adventures – especially ones I know nothing about. It keeps the mind and legs nimble and that’s exactly what this last adventure in the Alps did!
Now, normal people would arrive early, lace up boots and give themselves ample time to hike to the final destination, but well… who am I kidding… we all know that I’m far from normal. Ya see, after about five hours of driving, it was 1am before we only loaded up and became pack mules for the hike ahead. (Did I mention that I just arrived after an eight hour flight from United States and rocked out on a five hour bus with the added pleasure of another five hours in a car? Yep, I’m THAT girl.)
We parked in this little village called Spruga which is a stones throw from Italy, but not for long… we had some climbing to do. Step after step, the moonlight helped illuminate the rocky path up a very steep hill. The trail zig-zagged back and fourth, easing the climb up… and up… and up. I actually preferred the darkness. It eased the actual shock of what I was walking up.
Rocky houses donned the path and every time we reached one, I was nearly certain this was our final destination. I was wrong.
We kept going – one foot in front of the other, and then to my horror, I had six eyeballs staring right at me. I froze suddenly – one wrong move and I’d be saying “Sayonara” to all the accumulated meters that just took me forever to climb! Three funny looking mountain goats complete with horns were just as shocked by my 1:30am debut as I was.
After catching my breath, I was pretty much ready for anything. The climb took every bit of 45 minutes and you know what, it was so totally worth it because we finally reached our target; my jaw dropped. On this quaint mountain in the middle of nowhere… no roads, but complete with a very steep incline, stands a magical three-story, hand-made, rocky cabin. Basically, if you’re an adventurer that has romantic-like tendencies – this is exactly where you want to be.
I was speechless. I was impressed… and I already knew that this was totally worth every step and the scary incident with the mountain goats. The top floor had a bedroom, then, complete with a narrow ladder connecting to the middle floor is a well-equipped kitchen with an old-fashioned wooden stove, comfortable breakfast table and deck. Then, if you scale an even more narrow ladder, the basement is home to most incredible shower in the world. Just take a reflexology zen garden and mix it with a shower – that’s what I’m talking about.
The next morning – I got the second shock of my life. No, there weren’t any goats staring at me whilst I was sleeping. Instead I had a moment; this was something I have never experienced before in my life. I woke up to a view that every person in the world should see once in their life.
I wasn’t ready for this view. I have never experienced anything like this before. How could I end up somewhere and not know what it looked like outside? This was incredible and I just couldn’t get enough of it.
I headed downstairs to the balcony to take it all in and there was a lot: Fresh Alpine air, stunning 360 views and sunshine. This was the real Swiss Alps. The peaks still had snow on them too. I was a bit lost for words and for those of you who know me, understand that’s a hard thing to do. That wasn’t it, though: we had much more climbing to do.
It was late in the afternoon, so it was best not to venture too far – but I mean, why did it even matter, we just hiked here in the dark. I was feeling like an hiking pro.
This experience was way different because I could actually see where we were headed and it was steep – really steep. Again, one foot in front of the other… we finally reached the ruins. Ruins! There’s frickin ruins! Ok, here’s my thing. I absolutely understand that it’s totally “normal” for the locals to use cable cars and helicopters to get supplies up these parts. What blows my brain is people were actually LIVING in these parts for hundreds if not thousands of years!
These Swiss are a tough breed. Not only do they scale these mountains on a daily basis just to survive, but they also deal with the heavy snowfall and all over “crazy” conditions.
The next day, we descended back into the valley. It was great to see everything we passed in the dark… including actual little village we started in and even the deadly mountain goats.
And ya know what, I’d do all this again in a heartbeat. I now leave you with a bit of fun music- enjoy:
An Aussie girl gone walkabout in the great big world!