More than one thousand metres above sea level, higher than anywhere in England and the air’s a bit thicker. Well, that’s my excuse for sounding like Thomas the Tank Engine as I make my way up a slope that has no right to be that steep. And did I mention it’s warm? Boy is it warm, 35C, thank goodness for the shade.
Noel’s doing his usual thing of running ahead, then running back to round me up, making sure I’m still physically moving, though at times I feel I’m going backwards. Boy is this hard. And to think, I’m doing this voluntarily.
“Are you OK?”, he asks as I huff and puff. “You sound like you’re struggling to breathe.” Not as such, I tell him, it’s just my way of getting up the hill, my mantra, or rather my pantra, as I pant out the words. ‘Up the hill, up the hill, not much further, not much further, coffee and cake, coffee and cake’. It definitely works for me, though anyone within earshot thinks I’m dying.
We’ve driven to Chamonix, in the French Alps, with a fine selection of running shoes and climbing gear. Well, why go on holiday to rest when there are so many mountains to run/walk/climb or, when we’re exhausted, just look at as we drink our coffee and eat our cake?