June 12, 2012 GMT

The tsunami tent had a semi successful night at keeping me dry but by 5.30, rain was leaking in at a steady rate. I got myself ready for the off.

Fortunately I had seen a tent ln the local supermarket. Being a terrible tent snob, it was a poor choice but it only had to last for a bit over one week. At 29 Swiss Francs it was cheaper than expected. I hope that it is a deal, not indicitive of the water repellant properties of the tent.

swiss waterfall.jpg
The relatively short ride to Zermatt was uneventful. It rained a few times, the sun came out briefly.
Wonderful waterfalls spat out their glacial meltwater...
At Tasch, just before Zermatt, I had to leave Betty in an underground garage. She was not happy. It was like tying a dog to a lamp post and going to the pub.

I lumped my luggage into the train station. I asked for a return ticket and went to pay with a card. The dude behind the counter looked into my wallet and said.'CASH', despite there being signs everywhere for card payment.

My experience of tourist customer service in Switzerland has been very poor. It is like, 'Heres the mountains, now empty your wallet, CASH. (you nob)'. Surleyness was off the Vikki Pollard scale.

zer town.jpg
Zermatt... reet posh...

The short train ride arrived at Zermatt where I was confronted by a riot of tourism. I had to wait 5 minutes, just to get my head in gear. The village only allows electric vehicles and taxis ferried people about whilst trying to avoid Japanese tourists taking pictures.

I walked down to the camp site which would be best described as basic. Saying that, it was a tenth of the price of the cheapest rooms in the town.

I got the tent up eventually, it wasn't too bad. Question is, what to do with my old one. I have had it for almost 20 years. Oh well, A bin in Zermatt is better than a bin in Market Drayton, if you want a semi heroic end.

Zer camp.jpg
New tent up... The blue one...

I needed a shower. The men's shower was locked. The only option was the ladies. I returned to the tent to plan my blitzkreig tactics for a shower. Currently the campsite was deserted. It would be just my luck that as I was happily washing my nads, a large group of grubby femenists on a weeks retreat from the evils of men, would pitch up and line up for a shower.

I really had no way of talking my way out of that one, but l recon the odds were slim. Blitzkreig shower worked well.

I went for a walk around the village. These electric vehicles are a menace. They sneak up behind you and try to run you over, they drive on whatever side of the road they like and the drivers quite clearly couldn't give a care in the world.

I never saw a police electric vehicle, but I would of liked to point out to the authorities the bloke driving up the road smoking a big fat reffer. His eyes were rolling about on his cheeks and I think the whole of Steinmattstrasse were a lot more chilled after he had passed.

Indeed, I saw a four headed shrimp in the next street along.

Oh, yes, the Matterhorn, that Toblerone shaped mountain that peers down on this little town. It doesn't show its face too much. You can see it is there, but clouds veil her.

zer mat.jpg
The best shot I could get of the Matterhorn. I think someone ele may have got a better one!

The shops here are great. Snap up a Rolex for 6000 pounds. Buy some mountaineering boots for 450 quid. A pint of beer costs 7 quid and it is 68ml short!

Posted by David Bailey at June 12, 2012 10:00 AM GMT

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