But one reason I'm repeating the walk is to see how things have changed, and alas, they have, and not always for the better. Termignon's old village is now dominated by the huge bland condominiums and chairlifts of a modern ski-station. Yesterday, walking this same stretch in the other direction, we went into Termignon in search of tea, and found nothing open. Today we simply bypassed it.
We did stop in Sollières, where we made use of the little museum and talked a bit to the archéologue, who had interesting things to say about the two tribes of Neolithic people living in these valleys before the time of the Romans; but we didn't linger.
South of Sollières we took the paved road past the airstrip, where a snazzy little airplane sat parked, and then walked through the fields of flowers, some of which had recently been mowed for hay.
We hit Bramans about two o'clock and took a room in the one hotel. The hotelkeep confirmed our impression of the independence of these Savoyards, many of whom still resent the rigged election that forced them to become part of France, 140 years ago or so. Although I've yet to find anyone who speaks Italian in the shoos, cafes, or even hotels, the natives here have more in common, he assures me, with the Italian mentalité than the French, are more likely to visit Torino, when they want a big city, than Lyons.
We are now two weeks ahead of the schedule I followed five years ago, thanks to skipping the too snowy North, and of course the season itself is a little behind. Still, I think we'll be okay from here on. I called the refuge at Mt. Thabor to ask about conditions: there is a little snow, I'm told, but no problems.