Today I headed to Courmayeur, the starting location of my race. Turns out Sara was catching the same bus to Chamonix so we grabbed some breakfast and then made our way to the Bus Station passing by Duomo Di Milano so she could take a quick look at it from the outside seeing it was on the way.
The bus ride was pretty uneventful, but interesting to see the town's on the way that I wasn't able to see on my trip to Milan, I suspect it's because our driver took a slightly different route to avoid the tolls. Arriving in Courmayeur I said farewell to Sara and made my way onto my hotel, it's certainly a bit of hard work carrying two full packs of gear down a hill and back up another. Arriving at the hotel I checked in and settled into the hotel, a rather small room but it's enough for me, I donrsther like the window in the ceiling, just a shame the clouds have covered the sky at the moment as I'm sure the stars at night look pretty nice through that window.
I grabbed my jacket (yeah, I'm smart, I brought one with me despite the heatwave) as well as my passport holder as reception still had my passport with them and headed down to reception to get it and drop the key in before I made my way into town. As I approached the bus station, I was able to look up ahead of me and see the first 23km section of my run, that doesn took as bad as I was expecting. It's a rather small but lovely town, small streets and lots of shops down the main strip.
Obviously being an area with lots of mountains around, you have to expect a lot of outdoor gear shops, and there were certainly no shortage of that. I had to find a battery for my headlamp, something you can find rather easily back home, well I was originally going to buy one back home but was told probably easier to buy here seeing I didn't have to risk them being taken off me at customs. Trying all the shops around, I couldn't find any that sold the battery I was after until I had walked well past the shopping area for about another Kilometer and came across a shop that sold outdoor gear including the Fenix headlamps, I knew that these headlamps had the same batteries so went in to check... Thankfully they had the same type of battery so naturally I had to buy it.
Now that was out of the way it was time to get food. Easier said than done... Most of the restaurants around here don't open till 7:30pm, it was a little after 5:30 and I was hungry. By this time the rain had also started as well, making sitting outside not likely to happen unless it had a cover to sit under. Eventually I found a pizza bar and ordered a pizza from there. When it came time to pay I ran into a little issue, the man behind the counter said, no Card, Cash only... Surprised seeing this was the first time that issue came up I apologised as I had no cash on me and asked if there was a cash machine around and he pointed me down the street, told him I'd be back in a moment and hurried down the street. The cash machine was literally like 100 meters (if that) down the road, I put in my card, hit a few buttons and got the message "this service is not supported" and my card was ejected... Now I really started to panic, what do I do now. As it so happened, remember how I said I grabbed my passport holder as I was leaving the hotel... Turns out I always tend to keep some extra cash in there, so thankfully I was able to head back and sort it all out pretty quickly. As I'm heading to Chamonix tomorrow, I need to keep that Passport with me, so hopefully I won't have to same problem tomorrow.
I was time to head back to the hotel, as I really need some recovery rest as I'll be up early tomorrow for an early morning bus to Chamonix. It was a much nicer temperature despite the rain, at about 16 degrees, so enjoyed the walk back in the rain enjoying what nature has to offer with a smile on my face.