Once upon a time at Pic Chaussy

Les Diablerets and the valley
Les Diablerets and the valley

I have never been good in sport. I am neither talented at it nor liking it. Given that I am quite tall for an Indonesian (probably Asian?) girl, it is a stereotype in Indonesia that tall people (according to us) are good at sport. People always ask me whether I swim regularly or not. I remember going the beach every weekend to swim when I was little. Can I swim? No. People also wonder if I am a good runner. Do I run well? No. Also, I was wondering where I was when rollerblading was trending. So, it is not that I dislike sport because it is sport… but I dislike it because I am not able to do it well. I even once said that if walking was a sport, it was my favorite sport. What nobody knew was that I actually meant it. 😦

Having the opportunity to live in a country like Switzerland – where outdoor activities are plenty, really gives me a rethought of my dislikeness of sport. One night, after I had the worst day of my life as I cannot think of something worse, I decided to go hiking instead of going crazy alone. (Un)coincidentally, there was a facebook invitation to hike Pic Chaussy* which was arranged by a hiking group of my campus. After a little hesitation, I accepted the invitation just one hour before the departure. I walked to Gare Cornavin fully-spiritedly! I was even too early as I found nobody was there. I decided to buy the train tickets to Vers L’Eglise (which costed me around CHF 42.80 for a return trip). I got a little worried as I saw no one at the train platform while the departure time of the train was near. It was my first time hiking with that group, so I did not know anyone.

When the train arrived, I looked around to match people face with picture on facebook. Then I found a little group of three people, consisting of two girls and one guy whom I could recognize from his facebook’s profile picture. I approached them and asked whether the guy was Björn, the one who always arranges hiking in the group. And that was really him! He said there was no other people confirming his invitation, I answered that I had just confirmed it one and half hours ago. 😛 I told him that I sent him a message, the two girls laughed and said he would not receive it because he did not even have a cell phone. That moment, I understood why I thought nobody was there.

Hiking companions
Hiking companions

Off we went in the train leaving for Aigle (to then change for the train for Vers L’eglise). Being new, I introduced myself and the veterans introduced themselves. Björn is a German (who hiked, I believed, without breathing as he was so fast!!!) while the two girls are Annie, a Polish-Canadian, and Kristina, a Lithuanian. We chitchatted and had some snacks along the way. When I heard their talk, my heart got small as I rarely hiked and was not sure whether I could bear it well enough. I made a statement that I would probably be the slowest one in the group making me the last person to reach the summit, then we laughed. Aaaand… my stupid statement became real. 😛

Morning sun shining above Vers L'Eglise
Morning sun shining above Vers L’Eglise

It was a sunny autumn day. It was neither warm nor cold. When we took the train from Aigle to Vers L’Eglise, I knew it was just a perfect day to hike! Even the view along the train track alone was breathtaking! It was a valley full of vineyard and pine trees. The train went up and up making the valley go further away. Just in a blink of an eye, we arrived at Vers L’Eglise station. The station was very small. There were farms and mountains all around. To hike there, there is no fee at all. The only fee required is probably to keep everything clean.

High above and down below.
High above and down below.

We walked up and up and up and up. At first I tried to catch up with the others. However, minutes after minutes, I lost my breath. I walked too slowly and I could not catch up at all. I often stopped, pretending I was taking pictures, but what I actually did were taking pictures AND catching my breath! I was so embarrassed! The altitude was “only” 1200 m yet for a person who barely does any sport other than walking and cycling, it was indeed a little bit challenging! Not so far from the starting point, my feet got blistered.  I was even thinking of going down before we were halfway there. 😛  But then Kristina was so ready for everything and her bags seemed to be Doraemon’s pocket! She offered me band aid instead and encouraged me to walk up again.

The sign that you almost reach the top of Pic Chaussy: fences.
The sign that you almost reach the top of Pic Chaussy: fences.
With the sticks that helped me throughout the hike..before it was broken at the cows farm..
I made it! Yay!

I was so lucky because Kristina was there. She sometimes slowed her hiking phase. And all the time I told her to walk first and she said that she liked walking slowly and enjoying the view. I felt so guilty and happy at the same time as I know that she actually waited for me all the time! *teary eyes*  When I felt like to stop, she urged me not to. She taught me how to keep my phase and heart rhythm so that I did not feel tired. She also gave me a tips on how to choose hiking shoes so I would not get any blister anymore!** However, I kept doing the same mistake: I stopped a lot and Kristina waited for me a lot. I again told her to walk ahead of me. She answered and I quote: “Don’t think about me, just keep on walking. I don’t want to leave you as I know how it feels to be left behind.” And that time, I really could not stop walking at all. I forgot that I had a blister for a while. I just kept on hiking and thought that it was really worth it…..until we got lost in the cows farm on our way down! Anyways, the bright side was that it was a night full of stars though we had no option but stepping on cows’ dung at the very same time. (eff)

There is time to go up. There is time to go down
There is time to go up. There is time to go down
Playing with sunset
Playing with sunset
Before the darkness come.
Before the darkness come.

P.S.:

This blog is one year old two days ago! So, to celebrate it and the end of my exam for the first semester, I decide to post something related to Switzerland. 😀 (Yea, I know it does not match :p)

*Pic Chaussy is a mountain of the Bernese Alps, overlooking Les Diablerets in the canton of Vaud.

** Once you have found a model, stick with it. Choose shoes with one size bigger as it will not force your toe to when going down while you can still use it comfortably with the right hiking socks.

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