Unpredictability - Good for your health

Our modern life is based on organising an environment free from the unexpected. The house needs to be as stable and reliable as possible. The job as safe as possible. Nothing should break down. Nothing but what we predict, should occur.
This is the life of the zoo animal. Let's explore the life of the Nomad. Let's live the life of the Nomad.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Switzerland - the mountain and the lady

At just over 2000 meters high Hochmatt is a good deal higher than any mountain you will find on the British Isles.  The alpine route to the top was magnificent.  Rated for climbers only, but on such a fine cloudless day with plenty of heat in the air and little wind, this was something exotic indeed for the seasoned hiker.  Without crampons, ropes and axes, such a climb during winter would be very dangerous indeed.

My guide on this mountain was a lady I shall call "S".  Having spent many years in Switzerland, and indeed a resident of the country, she was familiar to many interesting mountain hikes in the Alpine region.  In the past she had guided me across the base of a famous mountain known as the Eiger - perhaps the most memorable hiking trip of them all.  So she was the perfect guide to commission for this little adventure, and being a best friend also, meant slipping the big daily rates some guides will charge.

In Switzerland, the hikes tend to be easier to follow since various code flags will be painted at milestone points along the route.  Providing these are not covered by snow navigation is very straightforward.  At the start of the hike "S" took us on a shortcut which involved a scramble up a very steep hill face.  At one point the only way to keep going was to crawl through the trees gripping one branch after another.  Another group from below observed our progress and when they later passed us, cast praise on our extreme alpinist skills.  There was perhaps some humour behind this praise.

You can see, at about half way along the route, the stunning views- a feast for the eyes.

This gully was very steep and we rested half way up under some welcoming shade.

To get to this stage involved some very steep hiking, and with the 30 degree heat, this was very taxing indeed.  Here is where the real fun begins.  A stretch of boulders followed by a steep rocky trail with sheer face drops on either side.

 And after three hours of exertion, we arrive at the summit.  You can see the sheep hiding from the sun.

Hochmatt is located in the canton of Fribourg.  My history contains various connections to Switzerland, having lived and worked in this picturesque country for quite a few years.  And Fribourg?  Every nomad will have in his resume of places visited - somewhere that can't be put to rest and nor can it be confronted for one final last time.  So Fribourg remains what it is - somewhere this nomad avoids and doesn't avoid.

And of-course the reason is the crystal and the crystal is the woman herself - the guide.  Is it folly to look back into the past at an affection derailed by circumstance and by diminished luck?  I decided to look back; and if the future's focal point wandered like a kite in the wind - I could at least envision a connecting line between the two of them.  This time I held the woman's hand and it didn't flinch.  And so for this weekend at least, the quiet solitude of this nomad was laid aside.

And soon another adventure begins.  The plan is to be taking the children to an island located in the Mediterranian sea - Majorca.  Sea side holidays are really not my sort of thing, but it is for the children.  With all the heat, the sea, the sand and the pools - hopefully the children will find all this enjoyable and worth while.


  1. Such beautiful scenery on your hike - but that high temperature was certainly a surprise to read about.

    Enjoy your sea side holiday, and don't forget to blog about it too. We'll look forward to your holiday snaps!