Tuesday, June 18
Pretty much wiped out from the previous two days' worth of difficult foot travel, we decided to just let this day "flow". We established no firm wake-up time, getting up when we felt like it. We decided that this would be a good time to head into the nearest larger town to see if we could snag a low-cost SIM card. This would give us the ability to communicate with the rest of the world (Brian in particular likes to send his wife a periodic contact message). We also needed to top-up our grocery supply a bit.
The day was another in a seemingly continuous series of warm and sunny days in the Swiss Alps. We looked up to the snow-covered peaks with a bit of wistfulness (knowing that we'd not be heading up to them today), but also armed with the knowledge that the snow was likely as soft and as troublesome as it had been for us the day before. Maybe it would be nice to spend a day down here after all.
After a lazy breakfast, we set off for the nearby town of Ilanz shortly after 9am - but not before putting out all of our soaking wet climbing gear to dry in the warm sun of the flat's terrace.
Ilanz is the largest town in the Vorderrhein valley, and would likely give us the best chance of netting a SIM card; and most certainly it would have a decent grocery store.
We spent a bit of time driving and walking around the new section of the downtown (Ilanz has a very nice historic town center, but that area wasn't likely to have the more modern shops we were looking for). Eventually we wandered into the post office, and here we found a number of phones, phone accessories, and phone plans available. The teller spoke fairly decent english and we were soon able to secure a SIM card with a data plan that included a couple of hundred megabytes of data usage for only about 30 Swiss Francs (about $30), and with a decent overage rate. Split three ways, this was more than reasonable - and according to the coverage map, it would be usable from the flat.
Next we hit the town's Migros supermarket (Migros is one Switzerland's largest retailing companies, and operates an extensive supermarket chain), filling up on supplies for the remainder of our week.
We then returned to Waltensburg for a nice, relaxing afternoon nap in the flat. With the new SIM card, my phone did work from the flat, but the data connection was very tenuous - there was only a barely useable signal.