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

27th February 2019
Hiking - Walking: No 6 walk – La Tour du Lac Malpas
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Weather: sunny and mild
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Distance Covered: 3.63 miles (Nautical Miles - unless stated otherwise)

Wednesday 27th February – Walk **** No 6 walk – La Tour du Lac Malpas in France – sunny and mild.

2 hours 15 minutes out, 3.63 miles covered.

Our second lovely quiet night all alone in the snowy camper aire in St. Point – Lac and again woke to ice on the inside of our windows, soon remedied with the diesel heater and the sun coming over the pine tree ridge bathing the van in brilliant sunshine on yet another perfect weather day getting up to 25 degrees today:) It was time to move on so after breakfast we headed a few km. up the hill to Petit Malpas to do walk No.6 on the walking board the –La Tour du Lac Malpas. For the second day running you start by an impressive church with a stunning multi-coloured tiled spire roof:) Mag knocks up a quick picnic while I find which way to go and after a tripod selfie, we leave the van at 11.30. I do a circuit of the church yard which was a big mistake as when finding the rear gate blocked by snow, I climbed over the metal wall and promptly slipped on thick ice and fell really hard on my back for the second time this holiday!!! I got absolutely no warning, one minute I was upright the next flat on my back cursing sadly in the sight of God being next to the church! Mag came over very worried that I had knocked myself out, helped me up and we sat by the metal cross to take stock of my injuries and were joined by a local cat come to see what all the fuss was about! I had jarred my neck; my back hurt and I had skinned my elbow so nothing too serious! I managed to soldier on with the walk! Again, no snow shoes required today as the route consisted of a lane, farm track and woodland paths which were snowy and icy in places but we were OK in boots. We started in the hamlet walking past lovely old houses and barns with cows and horses which were lucky enough to be outside. There are a lot of new buildings going u[ in this area which must mean the locals are doing alright:) The lane becomes a farm track through summer pasture to a road where we turn right and follow to the edge of the forest. Then it’s a steep drop down which is a bit more challenging with some dodgy icy patches but we remain upright and soon reach the small frozen Lac Malpas where we sat in the snow and had our picnic. Again, I had my shorts on and we both only had one layer on top, this February weather is unprecedented and having a video WhatsApp chat with our son and Grandson later he told us that a record for the highest ever February temperatures has just been set in the UK! We blame global warming!!!! Its then a lumpy icy path to negotiate along the Lac made worse by the horse hoof prints churning up the snow! We had been out for 2 hours 15 minutes covering only 3.63 miles but very nice it was! We then took some lovely quiet roads to la Cluse-et-Mijoux with its imposing looking chateau on a hill and gorge. The fuel warning came on so we had to go in search of a supermarket to fill up. We ended up in a dreadful, huge sprawling retail park on the outskirts of Pontarlier where we spent 41 Euros in the supermarket and for the first time this holiday the machine didn’t like our credit card:( Mag got the spare, so drama over and we drove to the pumps - now that was a shock!!! It came to 114 Euros at 1.45 a litre the most it has ever cost us to fill up, still we can’t complain as it takes us to the most wonderful places! We soon left the busy roads behind as we turned up the mountain towards the small ski resort of les Fourgs a funny sprawling place with a few drag lifts and runs but not very high. We couldn’t find anywhere nice to park, all too busy and no views so at the cross country pistes we turned left and left the town below and after about 15 minutes again we were lucky to find a small dead end lane with stunning views at Les Lailles near Les Granges Bailly directly above Les Fourgs:) The kettle was soon boiling and we had delicious nut rolls with lashings of butter and jam, watching the snow shoers and cross country skiers return up the hill on a path that we will probably snow shoe tomorrow as it looks far too busy to ski as its still half term. A local dog wandered over to say hello, then the top video chat followed by an amazing sunset turning the mountains red/orange. So again, we are here in the middle of nowhere alone and loving it:)

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