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Mont Blanc



As we left Autrans, again the mountains were could we leave this region and not get a closer look at mont blanc or maybe ! even get to walk at the foot of it. It was a chance of a lifetime and one we were not going to let pass without a try.

We stopped off at the tourist office in Chambéry and booked accommodation. As it happened the Gíte rural that we choose was located on the Massif de Mont Blanc. The owner told us not to worry if we heard wild pigs outside feeding on windfall apples.





















We spent a few hours walking, trying on hats, having lunch and just soaking up the atmosphere in Annecy.

So it was a perfect place to visit Chamoix mont blanc,(a ski town at the foot of the mountain), Italy via the Mont Blanc tunnel(10km), where the windows were dressed for Christmas. And a trip into Geneva, (Switzerland give it a miss) visit Annecy instead, a beautiful old town on the French side.

There was time too to relax and have some l'escargot and Cider in the evening sunshine (2nd week in October).

The carousel is a familiar sight in small towns on market day.



Childhood dreams

As luck would have it, the cable car was open, this is our big chance ..........



Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in Europe at 4,808metres. It is situated the French/Italian Alps. Pictures describe it so much better than words. We took the cable car from Chamonix Mont-Blanc to Plan de l'Aiguille intermediate station at 2317m and then on to Aiguille de Midi at 3777m on the glacier, and then a lift to a further height of 3,842.



We were in awe of these base campers, with their tents in a dug out in the glacier, there is also a refuge at 2317m and one on the ridge at the summit. It would be a mighty feat. But even at 3,842m (12600 ft)we could feel the altitude effects. Training would be required for climbing at this height.

It was a type of lightness similar to the intake of alcohol, with a touch of a headache. We also noticed people were yawning a lot. Dave joined us for a weeks holiday. We had a picnic "avec chocolate chaud" from the highest restaurant in Europe

Adrenalin Rush

This ledge is exactly the width of two feet with a sheer drop on both sides. Extreme concentration is required, as fatigue, altitude affects or snow blindness would be fatal at this height. Birds have competition also from the paragliders who jump, float and soar in the afternoon sun,(may give this a go sometime). Some jump over the summit from planes/helicopters, others get the cablecar, while others just climb the mountain with their back pack.


The first station stop at 2317m, was our opportunity to walk on Mont Blanc. We walked down from here. Dave who thought we were mad not to take a lift when we already had return tickets opted for the cable car. We had descended from the uppermost peak in the background. Both stations have restaurants, which are constantly being upgraded.


As we began our decent we were surrounded by the massif de Mont Blanc. We took hundreds of pictures. The excitement of just being here was thrilling.

The weather conditions had been perfect and the evening just got better. Even though we had just recently walked 400km. it was still a hefty walk and we could feel the after effects for a few days.


        All is one

Last look back


Autumn leaves are falling like coloured raindrops ..the wheel turns

12th October

After a week it was time to move on, no pigs to be seen, but we did see a marmot which are the common ground squirrel to this region.


As we are heading west we stopped in Mácho and choose a Gíte rural in Bissier soux Uxelles, and it is just that.

A quaint little Roman hamlet in Burgandy. Not a shop in sight, just a ferme, avec un fromagerie de chevre(which was not open).







Mme Réne who owns the gíte (top) is an old thrifty lady, but cute. The gíte too was old, with wooden door lintel's and wooden ceiling beams. The sound of silence is the loudest voice in the town. Although we are aware each time that we go outdoors that everyone knows that we are visitors to the town



Majestic walnut


It was time to take a stroll around the area. Yellow arrow waymarking reminded us of the camino. There was a feast awaiting around every corner. We collected walnuts, grapes, sloes, blackberries and what mushrooms !!!


After two months away the little grey house in the west was calling and it was time to answer the call, so we booked our passage and headed for the bog........ A bientót