Cascades and a Col.
An early start from the campsite, a service for waste and water and we are off. Today is a combination of tourist stuff and amazing driving, hopefully.
Our first stop and one of the Jura’s biggest draws are the Cascades du Herisson. A long valley littered with huge waterfalls all stretched out along a walkable trail. There are a number of access points but we plump for the visitor centre start area. It’s a pleasant spot but we quickly realise why it’s a top spot. It was heaving!!!
At 10€’s each it’s not bad, the VC and cafe/ shop are pretty tasteful, lots of interpretation and helpful staff. Off we set with what seems like every person within a 100 mile radius.
The first stretch is very pretty, very similar to Wales, woods and streams, but then we approach the first ‘cascade’ and the largest one at the site.
Lots of photo opportunities, selfie taking and general wonderment as all the throng admire the huge falls on display. Given how dry everywhere seems it’s pretty impressive that this amount of water is still flowing.
We push on, it’s a combination of very steep paths, metal steps, wooden steps, very slippery rocks and a whole lot of people! The guide at the VC told us it’s tough to get to the second falls but after that it’s flatter and easier, he wasn’t wrong. It is quite a slog, made a bit more tricky as you have to wait for slower folks to move out of the way of faster folks!
We venture on to a few more ‘falls’ and eventually call it a day. It’s a beautiful place and I can imagine on a normal weekday pretty quiet but unfortunately we are here on a Sunday’ a French holiday weekend so therefore it’s very, very busy.
One plus point though, the cafe was very nice! We had a delicious goats cheese and walnut salad baguette and some lovely frites to stave off our post walk hunger. It seems increasingly to be a very European thing to have numerous beers, gins or wines whilst out walking as the cafe’s bar was manic whilst the cafe bit was relatively quiet! We on the other hand being van people asked if we could fill our water bottles for free!!!
It was time to move on so after a quick scan of the map we headed east towards Switzerland and set Heulwen off for Col de Facille, a biggest pass that would take us over the Haut Jura range and hopefully down to Lake Geneva. At 4300ft it’s not massive but has been used on a few Tour de France routes and we certainly passed a few cyclists!! Heulwen took it all in her stride, her 2.8TD engine eased us to the top.
The view coming down was spectacular and with Lake Geneva in the distance and the looming Alps behind we set a course for a spot for the night. Divonne les bains nestles on the shore of the lake and looked to be a very smart place. We headed for a park up beside a lake that looked pleasant.
After a very peaceful night, given we were on a roadside, we fancied a cycle so set off around the lake. A few laps later and we freshen up, pack up and head off to explore the shoreline of Lake Geneva.