We cobble together the remains of our lunch. “I’ve got an apple.” I turn to my husband. “How about you?” He pulls out a softly melting Toblerone bar.
After hiking for 10 hours from Grindelwald to Guttanen in the Swiss Alps on this warm August day, we are down to our last bites of energy and the dregs of our water bottles. Our destination, the tiny village of Handegg, is still an hour’s walk away. It’s close to dinnertime and the sun is moving lower in the sky, creating shadow twins of our bodies that lean out over the Aare River valley.
In planning our hike along the Via Sbrinz route from central Switzerland to Val Formazza in Italy, I severely underestimated the distance we had to cover on this second day of a five‑day trek that covers more than 70 kilometres through alpine valleys and high mountain passes. I fear we’ve exhausted our energy and enthusiasm and that we’ll struggle to recover to finish the hike, which I’d chosen to do in celebration of my 50th birthday. But perhaps that’s just the hunger talking.