Whoever said that we often take our own backyard forgranted was wrong! I have just returned from a walk in the mountains behind our village of Finhaut in Switzerland and was blown away by the beauty of this crisp autumn day. I set off from the Lac d'Emosson and climbed up through the Gorge de Veudale surrounded by the golds, and reds of the trees and grasses. A stiff hike saw me to the summit of the Cheval Blanc at 2830m. Its a wonderful austere rocky mountain surrounded by the most amazing rock - you can see the layers and folds where the rock has been shaped and formed by volcanic activity. One of the great things about this part of the Alps - perhaps any part of the Alps - is that there is so much to do. Every day offers the opportunity to explore yet another trail, yet another mountain and I really think it will keep me going a lifetime! I had the summit to myself and crunched across the first snows of winter before descending and coming across a herd of ibex - a real treat. I was watching the ibex grazing - mother and this years young - and then noticed a marmot also watching the ibex! The mountains are such wonderful therapy and although I have so enjoyed walking with our guests this summer, but it really is great to have some R&R and have the chance to walk alone for a change - I am sure we all feel this sometimes!