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Member#: 6644
Registered: 27-05-2007
Diary Entries: 1721

24th February 2019
Hiking - Walking: Lac de Joux
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Sunday 24th February Ė Walk ***** Lac de Joux near Le Sentier in France Ė sunny and mild.

Peace at last!!! After last nightís noisy, windy experience we returned to calm and had a good nightís sleep although colder than of late with a coating of ice on the inside of our van windows which the diesel heater made short work of:) What a hectic week we have had - 4 snow shoe and 3 ski sessions. It was time to take it a little easier today so had a lay-in reading and waiting for the sun to peak over the Swiss trees which it did at 9.30. Things were a little slow here in our little carpark at Le Tabagnox with just the odd ski tourer. The attendant at the t Ė bar lift had very little work to do as the skiers seemed to be waiting for things to warm up. Mag managed her exercises despite a covering of frost (she loves fresh air!) then we had porridge and were entertained by the many kids with sledges who had arrived to whiz down the very bumpy, hard slopes, usually ending in a heap at the bottom! As we were now completely out of food it was time to pack up and leave, always a little sad after a nice stop, but it was definitely time to move on. Its only a short drive to the supermarket in Les Rousses passing the French side of the ski resort which had loads of big white campers in a line making us think how lucky we were to have our space all to ourselves. Just the way we like it! They had to pay more to ski from here too! The Carrefour was absolutely heaving and we wandered around thinking how expensive everything was - must be missing Lidl - do they have them in Switzerland??? I concentrated on filling up the cake and bread supply including an interesting looking nut loaf, while Mag checked out the kids toys for Arlo and managed to find a wooden peg board puzzle in French, at this rate he will be bi-lingual at two:) It took a bit of time to get through the checkout but the lad who served us was friendly and our credit card worked - always a plus after our nightmare in Spain last year!! We quickly brushed over the fact we had spent 83 Euros but thatís not too bad as we havenít done a shop for a while and are stocked up for at least a week! It was now time to head into Switzerland and see if it was true about not paying tolls for the smaller roads. We neednít have worried as the border was not even manned! Itís a long straight road with little traffic, everywhere covered in snow, past little ski resorts and miles of cross-country skiing pistes. People were out making the most of yet another crystal blue day, thatís 13 in a row with no sign of it ending:) I was heading for Lac de Joux taking the left-hand quieter route along the water edge, well I say water but in fact it was completely frozen over and looked amazing! As with a lot of Lacs we have been too we were not holding our breath that we could park as they have an aversion to campervans:( and we were soon proven right as there were loads of signs saying no overnight parking. The narrow road followed the Lac edge closely with rows of chocolate box chalets and boats by the side covered in snow, just beautiful. We then turned inland reaching le Lieu with nowhere nice to park so I turned around and managed to find a small lay-by with a nice view where we stopped for lunch, a real treat prawns and baguette, always fun peeling them:) There was a lot of locals out promenading along the Lac side, some on the made up path while others were braver on the snowy beach or even on the ice, so we decided to join them. We met a lovely group of very friendly disabled people who bonjoured away as we passed, very sadly their walk was cut short when one of the younger members had a fit and was laying on the path:( Fortunately her carers where absolutely wonderful with her. We felt very sad that the walk they were enjoying so much had to end as they drove off in their big blue mini bus. Mag and I headed down to the snowy beach as soon as possible. It was hard to walk on as you disappeared in the snow ending up with damp feet but much more fun than the path. We walked out onto a small spit and were treated to glorious views to each end of the Lac with full sun overhead making the ice sparkle:) If you were brave enough it was actually easier to walk on the ice, hoping it was thick enough to hold your weight. We came to a small rock breakwater with a wooden pier to catch the summer ferry which was high above the ice just showing how low the winter level is! Past sailing, wake board club and the local fishing business obviously closed to some months to come but all adding to the scene. Then you can walk right out onto the lac along a shingle bar which was great fun and you could see large cracks in the ice close up! We met friendly dogs having fun and people out in their Sunday best clothes, kids sliding on the ice or on sledges, even one lady on cross country ski - it all happens on an icy lake in Switzerland on a Sunday! Nearing the end of the Lac we decided to walk back on the path which was reached by going through some reed beds where the snow was particularly deep! We thought it would be easy on the tarmac but several areas in the shade of the trees were very slippery and you had to take care! What a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon but it was time to look for somewhere to stop overnight after being out on our walk for 1 hour 30 minutes covering nearly 3 miles. We drove to Le Pont at the far end of the Lac which was very nice but campers again not welcome so ended up doing a complete circuit of the Lac before taking the mountain road towards Mouthe in France - a little ski resort we stayed at in the Autumn in 2012. It was again very pretty as we wound our way up through pine forest and in no time, we came across a sunny lay-by at La Douane overlooking the start of some cross country pistes and quickly pulled in. We were soon up on the level blocks with the kettle on and were tucking into our pieces of delicious flan on promo at 2 Euros, what a bargain:) Mag was thrilled to spot 2 of her favourite birds in the tree next to the van Ė crested tits with their punky spiky heads :) She has put her bird feeder in a nearby shrub but we are not holding our breath!! With the sun slowly sinking over the trees I switched Mags phone to take a picture so I could bore all my Facebook friends with yet another picture of our adventures when at the top of my posts was some very sad news. Martine, the wife of our very dear Belgium windsurfing friend Patrick Depporter, (who we have actually never met but seem to know very well through all the pics Patrick posts) has just been diagnosed to the dreaded caner, we just wish a full and speedy recovery and are sending them both all our love!
So again, we are all alone in the middle of nowhere with not much of a plan, we havenít seen much of this area before so I am sure we will find something good easily enough because the Jura is just stunning:)

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