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June so far in the Forces-of-Nature Diaries
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Owner: squiz
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Member#: 6644
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Registered: 27-05-2007
Diary Entries: 1721

25th February 2019
Hiking - Walking: Circuit of La Douane
Wind Direction:
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Weather: sunny and mild
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Distance Covered: 3.80 miles (Nautical Miles - unless stated otherwise)

Monday 25th February Ė Snow shoe ***** Circuit of La Douane in Switzerland Ė sunny and mild.


3 hours 15 minutes out, 3.80 miles covered.


A good nightís sleep in our little lay-by at La Douane in the Swiss side of the le Mont Risoux. It was dead quiet, then at six all hell broke loose as we have never heard so much traffic as half of France head to Lausanne to work! It didnít spoil this lovely spot as we made a drink early then Mag read while I dozed and by eight the road was quiet again with yet another still, sunny day with not a cloud in the sky, it will have to break soon surely??? It was too nice a day to just drive away so we decided to explore the rolling snow fields and pine forests on our snow shoes. With a picnic packed we left the van at 10.20. There is a snow shoe walk signed amongst the miles of cross country pistes but we decided to make it up as we went along. Starting off on the easy walking flat snow fields we headed towards the woods hoping perhaps if we climbed up a little, we might get a glimpse of the frozen Lac de Joux we walked at yesterday. As we approached the forest there were animal tracks everywhere but although we could hear birds chirping we saw very few:( Then we came across some fairly recent ski touring tracks heading up into the forest and the walk turned into a real adventure as we snaked our way gradually up to a ridge offering lovely views down and with the sun breaking through the tree tops it was beautiful with not another person in sight:) There was deer tracks and droppings (now I am sounding like Ray Meers) but we were too noisy to see any animals. With fleeces and gloves stripped off we sat in a sunny glade for a while hoping to see some birds, none came. A bit further and we came out of the trees just above le Lieu which is half way along the Lac. We spotted the large barn where yesterday we saw cows out on a large outside balcony allowing them to get out in nice weather. We got a fleeting glimpse of the lac but it was down too low in the valley to get a good look. We turned up the hill coming out at LíAllemagne and more cross country with some actual skiers (!) having just past a bear and a fox, sadly not real but carved years ago as part of a walk for kids we think! We followed a small road for a short way before turning up again and soon found a beautiful spot near a small clump of trees with dry leave to sit on for our picnic. It was then an hour back to the van where the kettle was soon on, Mag read in the shade of the van which was now in direct warm sunshine while I read, dozed and sun bathed, not bad for February, better weather than we had in Spain last year! After a lovely relaxing afternoon which included another cuppa this time with cake, we decided to move on towards Mouthe just as all the early drivers from this morning were heading home! Itís a real pain trying to enjoy the windy mountain road and top scenery with an impatient Frenchman up your backside!!! We arrived at Mouthe now back in France and tried to find somewhere to stop for the night. There is the source of the river Doub to explore from the small ski resort but it was very busy so we decided on a small car park in town just over the river already frequented by two other large white campervans (!) We were already unhappy as we much prefer being by ourselves in the middle of nowhere. Needs must so we parked up, steps under the van, front seat turned and off for a short walk to town just as our dozy neighbour returns from the shops and starts his generator:( We decided that if the noise had gone off by the time, we returned then we would grin and bear it but if it was going, we would go. On returning ten minutes later the generator had been turned off but another camper had parked very close to us so that was enough for us to feel we couldnít face that and we couldnít escape quick enough. In fact, we made too quick a get away and made ourselves look rather silly by yet again running over our poor old metal steps and not for the first time! We turned away from the busy red road and headed for the hills, very pretty, even passing some large World War Two Concrete bunkers - Peter Cutts would have loved them - but we didnít find anywhere to stop until some Lacs and actually ended up parking in a camper aire at St. Point Ė Lac. We are here by ourselves mainly because it is officially closed and covered in three inches of snow. This is why you donít have to pay until March thatís assuming the snow is gone by then! With the sun setting we decide on a quick walk to the nearby Lac and are firstly hit by the noise of a conveyor belt moving cow manure in a nearby farm and then the smell hits you! We were thinking about moving on again, that is if we are not stuck in the snow, but on returning to the van the belt had stopped and the smell gone so we decided to stay, it should be good for a sunrise over the frozen Lac tomorrow:)


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TSL snow shoe  Approach 226

 

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