The Grants' African adventure

Final Swiss days


After our five countries in a day effort of Thursday we thought we’d spend the rest of our time taking it a bit easy in beautiful Monstein and Davos. Nat Crichton finished and graduated from her course in tropical medicine on the Thursday, it was great to be around to help celebrate the effort in some small way.

The weather forecast for Friday was for fine weather, really the first burst of blue sky since we’d arrived, so we headed to Rinerhorn, a chairlift to some of the great winter skiing slopes of Switzerland. I guess you can’t go to Switzerland without seeing the top of the Alps, and it was a gorgeous day. The kids had a great time at the top at a fairly extensive playground including a tightrope complex. (Which was quite fitting seeing as a guy crossed Niagara Falls on a tightrope on the same day).

Tim and I went to the top of Rinerhorn with borrowed mountain bikes with the aim of riding back to Monstein. It’s around a 10km ride that is normally fairly easy but the winter snow and spring melt had left a lot of exposed rock on the track, so it ended up being fairly hard going. A good lesson for Tim as he was expecting an easy, downhill journey, only to find he had to carry his bike around and over some steep Cols. He toughed it out and made it, I was proud of him. It was a wonderful and scenic ride, and unusual. I think when he’s older he’ll be really glad he did it.

We came back down off the mountain to find it was positively balmy. It hit something like 27 degrees which the locals were describing as a heat wave. With several fine days forecast the local farmers were cutting their pasture, and it was being manually raked by their families. Fairly labour intensive but it’s good to see whole family units working together on a project like that.

The Crichton girls came home from school camp. They’d (including 8 year old Georgia) ridden 115km in three days. Take that Timmy. We had burritos sitting outside, surrounded by snow-capped (but melting) mountains, with flurries of pollen floating lazily through the air.

It was great to watch our boys and the Crichton girls together. It’s fair to say they’ve known each other from birth, are fairly similar in age, and though they’d not seen each other for three years, the years peeled back and they all got on so well. That night we let them play late into the evening, hide and seek around the village and even a water fight.


Saturday was pretty much a day to pack up and bid a fond and sad farewell to Nat and the girls. They were generous and hospitable hosts and coped really well with our mad clan gate-crashing their place. We took the excellent and on-time train system into Zurich, breezed through check-in and customs so fast they put us on the early flight to Heathrow.

And from Heathrow we walked into the chaos of Africa …. (read the speed bump post if you haven’t already).


3 responses

  1. Jenny Humphrey

    Fascinating reading! Thanks for keeping us informed of your journey! Checked with your big sister at church tonight on the reference made for good advice whilst in Africa!! Anne & I will be able to share our stories when we get to see you! Safe travels tomorrow! Enjoy the Falls-theyre not as full as they were in March but they will still be spectacular! Many blessings much love see you soon Laurie & Jen xx

    June 18, 2012 at 6:07 am

  2. The Elands

    Hey guys we are loving the stories you tell. Praying for you all.

    June 18, 2012 at 9:28 am

  3. Sheila Grant

    Congrats to Nat, but you cann;t pass that on! This is so good that you had a happy ending, and you would have known what MIGHT happen later???? May the rest of the journey (although so different) be life changing in other ways…..Africa….don’t you love it??? Mum

    June 18, 2012 at 11:16 am

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