Day 15: 20 June, Villers le Lac to Pontarlier 

We had a nice breakfast with our Dutch friends. We had pancakes with dried apple, cardamom and nuts. As toping we had fresh fruit and chocolate/nut pudding. 

The weather was getting more and more grey and soon the rain was poring down. Our friends waited a while until it cleared up. We took farewell. 

We had a day of planing in head of us, so we didn’t have to worry to much about the weather.

We sat down in the sofa and made some plans for the next following weeks. Later we took a walk to the post office and picked up a parcel with food. 

Back at the Gite we ate some nice left overs from the evening before. We packed our thing and walked to the neighbor village Morteau (5 km), there we took the bus to Pontarlier.

The rain was poring down again. We quickly found a youth hostel that was really nice to let us stay with out buying a membership card as we where in no need of it.

Anna re-packing our food parcel

We ate some cheese ans sausage with bread in the kitchen. Again we had an early evening, that’s the way when hiking in the mountains!

Day 16: 21 june, Pontarlier – Malbuisson

The highlight of the day was the morning. We left Pontarlier and climbed up a hill after about half an hour we came to the old Fort Mahler. We stoped and walked around it. 

Anna doing some morning exercises outside Fort Mahler.

We also spotted Joix castle from there. It was beautiful.

Joix Castle

We walked along it and down to the little village La Cluse-et-Mijoux. In that village we bumped into a Pernot distillery. 

We went inside and had a look, it was a small and really nice distillery, with friendly people working there. We tasted some different kind of Pernot and bought a very small bottle. This was a different morning!

Ýrr tasting Pernot

Anna walking in a field of flowers

The afternoon was not really that exciting, we walked through the typical landscape of the Jura mountains, forest, fields with cows and small villages. We were a little bored walking in the forest but suddenly an art piece appeared, it turned out to be a part of an art exhibition. We found that a little exciting, and we saw some more art before we reached the Camping in Malbuission.

Anna looking at an art piece by Lilian Bourgeat and Denis Sandona

 Of course we had a glass of our Pernot outside our tent in the afternoon!

Day 17: 22 June, Malbuisson to Mont d’Or

We left the camping and walked up into the woods, saw some more art works on the way.

The trail went over to the other side of the hill, down below we saw several villages, we sat down and had a short break. A curious cow ”orchestra” kept us company.

In the village le Miroir, we tried to buy some groceries but we only found a nice butcher that also had a small but nice amount of cheese and some olive oil.

We climbed up the ski slope, 450 meters, finally some climbing. Instead of people skiing there where bikers and ”sky-divers”.

After the climb we came up to the top and found an amazing view, the other side was much rockier and step and you could see the alps and the lake Geneva, unfortunately it was a bit cloudy so we had to imagine some part.

We reached Le Mont d’Or and realized that we past the refuge that we’d planed to stay the night at. We started to get tired but the idea of turning back was not an option. Instead we walked of track and at the border of Switzerland, we found a really nice refuge, the Cabane Mont d’Or. A group of ten old friends was there but warmly welcomed us.

They suggested us to continue our walk on the Swiss side and invited us for some really nice Swiss white wine (Chablis).

We sat with them for a while, looked at the alps and went as usual to bed early.


Day 18: 23 June, Mont d’Or – Vallée de Joux

Bad weather day. The sky was grey, when we woke up, and it was raining. We were disappointed we had hoped for a morning view of the Alps. The people from the refuge had recommended us to walk in Switzerland and to walk down to the lake Lac de Joux instead of walking back to the GR 5 track and to Mouth in France. We had no map for the area but we went anyway and followed their description. We left the refuge and walked along the border. We crossed the border to Switzerland and followed a road. But we became unsure if we were on the right track and walked back. We found another track that continued along the border on the french side. We decided to follow it.

Anna walking along the border

After a while it turned more into France and we were sure we had chosen the wrong way. We continued anyway and after a while we came to the border to Switzerland again and found a track that would lead us to the destination the people had told us to go to.

The border between France and Switzerland

We crossed the border and turned into the forest, following a track that would lead us to Les Chabonnieres, a small town in the beginning  of the lake Joux. It was a long road that seemed to go on forever. We went in the woods whole way, the landscape opened up right before we came to the town and we saw the lake. We didn’t really see the mountains because of the weather.

Les Chabonnieres

We stopped outside the church and had lunch, some bread and cheese. Then we continued to walk for about three hours in wet grass and woods before we came to our destination Le Sentier in the end of the lake Lac de Joux. We were tired when we arrived, it was sunday and everything was closed.

The sky was grey


We got a little bit of sun in the end of the day

We went to the camping. We ate cheese fondue, made from cheese from the area, at the camping restaurant.

Eating cheese fondue in Switzerland

It tasted delicious, we fell asleep around nine o’clock.

Day 19: 24 June, Lac Joux to Les Rousses

The rain on the tent roof woke us up. The camping had a kitchen that we could use to make breakfast.

The weather made us wait until 10 before we left. We walked in the valley in the rain all most the whole day.

In the village Les Rousses we found a hotel, there was no Gite and no camping in the village, it was a typical ski resort. Finally we found some sport shops but unluckily  they all where closed. Some villages in the mountains have some afternoon closed.

At the hotel we could heat up the radiators and dry our wet clothes. We made some lentil salad and had some really nice rose wine from the Jura, it was almost as rich as red wine.


Day 20: 25 June, La Rousses- Thonon-Les-Bains

We had a slow morning, ate some yogurt for breakfast in our room and waited for the stores to open at nine o’clock. We needed some things from the sport store. We did some shopping before we started walking towards La Cure, we crossed the border to Switzerland, for the last time, and walked through some nice green fields.

After a view hours we came to St-Cergue. We started to walk down towards Nyon but suddenly a man came and stopped us. We were not allowed to walk further becouse they were chopping down trees. We decided to take the train.


We went directly to the harbour when we arrived in Lyon to take the boat across the lake Léman.


Looking back at Lyon, saying bye to Switzerland.


The boat took us to Yvoire in France, a really beautiful medieval village.




We spent a couple of hours in Yvoire before we took the bus to Thonon-les-Bains. We arrived late to the camping and made some mushroom risotto before we fell asleep in the tent.


Day 21: 26 June, Thonon to Chevenoz

We spent the day in Thonon, we needed to do some planing and some shopping. We left the camping and walked to the centre of the city.

At the food store we found an public  laundry house. During the siesta we washed our clothes and had lunch. The clothes dried fast in the sun and were dry when it was time to go to the post office.

At the post we pick up our parcel, re-packed and send it further to Chamonix.

Around 16 we where ready to leave Thonon, we found the bus that the women in the tourist office recommended, it turned out to be the wrong one, we ended up in another Le Cret, nice but still wrong so we went back and found a new bus.

Very late we arrived to a Gite in Chevenez. We made some pasta and had a glas of red wine, it was a nice place with mountains around us. We felt happy and excited about our walk the next day.


Day 22: 27 June, Chevenoz – Chatlets de Bise

We had breakfast at the Gite and then we walked out of the village to find the trail. We continued climbing walking in a forest with a lot of openings were we could see the view of Lac Leman.

Looking back at Lac Leman


We continued climbing, it got colder and more beautiful.



We had lunch at Lac de la Case a small lake.

Lac de la Case

We continued to top col de Pavis 1944m which was the highest point of the day and of this trip so far. The view was stunning. 

We looked down at the blue lake, Lac Darbon

We walked in along the cliffside and continued towards Col de Bise. We met group of Bouquetin, goat-like animals, on the way.


We continued and there was quite a lot of snow we had to walk over. It was slippery and a little scary. Suddenly we thought we were on a wrong track and walked back for about 20 minuits but realised it was the right way. We sat down and had some chicken bean salad before we continued the same way as before

We passed this track three times

It was steep and there were snow on the top col de Bise.

On the top Col di Bise

After the top we continued down through a green field. We decided to put up a tent and found a good spot. We were really tired after a long day and agreed on eating what we call emergency food (trekking food, only add hot water). In the middle of the dinner we were attacked by curious cows. They were all over our things!

We picked the things together and walked to the refuge in Chatlets de Bise, it was only 5 minuets away. We were all alone in the refuge, it was simple but warm and cosy. We had a good night sleep.



Day 23: 28 June, Chalets de Bise to Les Crottes

We had some breakfast, a lady from the farm came up and asked if we wanted some milk, real milk for your muesli and oatmeal is an offer you can’t refuse. We also bought some nice cheese from her.

Another hiker came and got some breakfast. He was from Finland and his name was Antti and he was also following the Gr5 to Nice but he had just started at the lake Geneva.

The day started with a nice but heavy climb. On the top, at Pas de la Bosse at 1816 meters a mountain runner past us. We continue down to the village La Chapel d’Abondance. We managed to reach the food store just before the siesta, we bought some nuts, biscuits and bread. We sat down with Antti and had some lunch together. It was nice to exchange some hiking experience with him.

We continued and soon we started to climb up in to the forest. It felt heavy as we where tired from our long walk from the day before.

We passed a nice waterfall. When we came out of the woods we found a small house, closed but it was a perfect place to camp, there was water and the ground was flat. We all decided to stay the night there.

We made dinner, vegetarian cakes of celery, zucchini, the lentil pâté and egg powder. We boiled some rice and made coconut sauce with it. It tasted great!

We all went to bed early, as it was a bit chilly.






Day 24: 29 June, Les Crottes

Antti was already gone by the time we woke up. It was raining a lot and it was cold. We stayed in the tent for a couple of hours and waited for the rain to stop, but it didn’t, we decided to pack all our stuff and go anyway. But it just started to rain even more. We stood outside, under a roof for an hour, made some hot soup and waited. Then we decided to go back to the tent and into our sleeping bags, we were freezing! We stayed in the tent the whole afternoon and evening, reading books, talking and thinking, wondering how Antti was doing in the rain.

We ate all the chocolate we had (which was not a lot since we never carry to much) we had bread and cheese in the tent for dinner. The rain stopped around eight o’clock, which brought us hope for the next day! 

Rainy day.

Day 25: 30 June, Les Crottes to Col de Chesery

We woke up and the sun was shining. It was a lovely morning with sun shining through the threes, the mist and there where rainbows.

We had breakfast and packed our things. At first we climbed up through the forest but soon we came up to an open landscape with grass. We continue to climb and soon the season changed from summer to spring with melting snow, grey grass, spring flowers and threes still with out any leaves.

Further up almost at the top, the trail was covered with snow and we had to climb around it as it was to risky to climb on it. It was a steep climb and we had to take it slow and careful.

At the top, Les Mattes 1939 meter, we sat down and had some nuts and cookies and looked at the view. Some clouds blocked the total view but we could sometimes caught a glimpse of the high mountains in the back.

We continued down, it was muddy and slippery so we had to walk carefully.

At a farmer house we had some bread and cheese. After lunch we continue on a road, slightly upwards and just before the refuge at the Col de Bassachauxe we had a more steep climb. It was a nice place but we decided to continue a bit further to the next refuge.

We walked through a ski-slope with a lot of bikers. Higher up the landscape changed and became more rough. The vegetation was almost none and there was still some snow. On some places the snow was covered with red sand, later we found out that it was sand from Sahara in Africa.

We reached the refuge, it was warm and friendly. Another hiker all ready sat there. We joined him with some warm tee that followed with a beer.

It was very peaceful at the refuge. It was only three guests and the host sitting together in the warm dinning room.

For dinner we had some soup, a robust but very nice lamb stew with macaroni and carrot salad and for dessert some chocolate pudding.



Day 26: 1July Chesery – Samoens

The sun was shining outside when we woke up. The frozen lake and the mountain outside the gite looked beautiful.

 We climbed to the gap Portes de la Hiver 2096m and stopped for a while to enjoy the view and take some pictures. 

Anna taking a picture with her pinhole camera

We continued down the valley on a typical swiss path, broad and easy to walk on. We were walking in ski slopes with wonderful view, we stopped at  Ches Yoyo et jibi, a restaurant that sold cheese. The woman gave us several cheeses to taste and we ended up buying two kinds of delicious cheese, cow and goat. 

Delicious cheese!

We continued across the valley, there were several restaurants and a lot of water on the way. After a while we started to climb towards Col de Coux 1920m and back to France. New view and a new valley. 

Back in France at Cio de Coux

We walked down for a while before we sat down in the grass to have lunch. We dried our clothes and the tent in the sun. It was really hot. We continued going down before we climbed a little bit to Col de la Golése 1662m. There was a Gite that looked really nice. But it was to early to stop. We continued down, down, down.

Anna walking down

 It was tiering, mostly on a road and for the last hour and a half on a paved road. We were really tired when we arrived in Samoës 703m. We found the store and bought some food before we went to the camping. We made pasta pesto for dinner.

Day 27: 2 July, Samoens to the refuge Charlets d’Artenes

I (Anna) got some bad news in the morning, a good friend had past away, it made my climb that day extra hard but also time to think about the friend. He also was a friend of mountains.

We took the bus the first part as that was mainly on concrete and not very interesting. We walked in the valley into the Gorges des Tines where we had to climb up between narrow cliffs on ladders. It was exciting. We came up to a nice forest but soon we had to turn back down to the valley again. But just for a short while before a heavy climb that lasted the whole day, from about 700 up to 1800. We walked mostly in the forest and past two really nice waterfalls.

Just before the top we could look down on the valley we just left a few ours ago.

We reached the top and found an open, flat, green and rocky valley. We pasted some stream where some other hikers where resting. We continued to the refuge Charlets d’Artenes. It was a really nice place. We decided to stay and we had a local beer in the sun.

We took a cold shower, washed our clothes. We made some nudels with vegetables and join the others in the warm dining room. We sat with David from the Netherlands and Jack and Jonas, father and son from the Jura mountains. It was a nice evening talking about cheese, hiking, traveling among other things.




Day 28: 3 July, refuge Alfred Wills to refuge Alfred Wills

We woke up, the rain was poring down and it was really windy, we stayed in bed for a couple of hours and did some writings and readings. Around nine o’clock we went down to the breakfast room. We had breakfast with David, Jonas and Jack we had met the night before. The rain finally stopped and we decided to continue walking. David joined us.

Looking back at the lovely Refuge Alfred Wills

We started climbing to Lac d’Anterne (2060 m). We saw the lake and we walked along it, there was a lot of snow.

Lac d ’Anterne

After a while we realised we had lost the track, we should have gone on the other side of the lake. Instead of going back we walked around the lake. There were snow all over.

David on his way down

Finally we saw the track, but we decided to continue climbing parallel to the track and to join it further up.

Anna and David reading the map with Lac d’Anterne in behind

Suddenly the fog came, it came from nowhere and in a really short time we didn’t see anything. We were standing  on a grass ”island” in the snow waiting for the fog to come down. It only gat worse and it was raining. After a while we heard some people, we started shouting and suddenly Jack and Jonas appeared out of the fog.They where on their way back because of the fog. They led us to the track, which was only a view meters away. We sterted walking back to the refuge together but after a while we met a group of french people, they had gps and were on there way up to Col d’ Anterne.

We all decided to join them. We walked up again but after about 40 minuets we lost the track it was hidden in the snow. The gps didn’t work. Everything was white!

Lost in the mountains


We all walked back to the refuge.

We did 6 hours of hiking without food and a break. We were really tired when we came back to the refuge. We sat down in the warm and nice dining room, talked and relaxed.

David, Jonas, Jack and Anna relaxing in the refuge

In a couple of hours we were served cheese fondue, it tasted good, we were really hungry. After dinner we went to sleep, hoping for a better weather the next day. It was a difficult day, but it was also exciting and we had fun!

Day 29: 4 July. Refuge Alfred Wills (Charlets d’Artenes) to Moede Arterne

We woke up to find the weather was the same as yesterday. We had breakfast and discussed with the others to walk or wait.

We decided to wait for the fog to go away but at 11 we gave in and decided to go anyway as they sad it might be better later. When we where ready to go another hiker passed the refuge and we joined him. He had walked there before and was use to the mountains, it felt very comforting to follow him.

The climb up to the lake, it was very foggy, at the first stream we went wrong as we couldn’t see the lake and navigate from that. Lost in fog with snow is not an good combination. We where happy that we had our guide, who where a bit familiar with the area.

We past a water hole in the snow with a lot of frogs that was playing. It felt very wired in the middle of the snow. 

Finally after all most given up again some sun came through and clear some fog away. We could see the lake again and navigate much easier and soon we where back on the trail again. 

Now it was so much easier for us to find our way up to the Col d’Anterne at 2257 meters. At the top Jonas and Jack all ready was there, waiting for the clouds to disappear to get a nice view of the Mont Blanc. But they didn’t have any luck and soon they had to turn back as they where going home and had to reach their car befor dark.

We sad good by to Jonas, Jack and our guide. We continued down on the other side to the refuge Moede Arterne.

On our way down we saw a lot of Bouqetine’s

At the refuge we had some wine and beer in the sun. 

The dinner was served at 18.30. They served us a nice soup with cheese, the head dish was not so good, pasta with tomato sauce. To dessert we had rise pudding, 

We played some Yatzy and had a nice last evening with David.