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Member#: 6644
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Registered: 27-05-2007
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26th February 2020
Hiking - Walking: Thonon – Les – Bains promenade & around the Chatea
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Weather: heavy snow,rain and windy!
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Wednesday 26th February – walk ***** Thonon – Les – Bains promenade & around the Chateau de Ripaille along Lac Lemon:)


Great night in our quiet spot right by Lac Lemon at Port Corsier even though it did rain quite hard in the night accompanied by some strong winds we slept snug in the van:) Woke to a cloudy day with heavy snow forecast so we thought it best to again stay low down and hope the weather calms down. It is not looking great with a real mixed bag over the coming week, even back home in Felixstowe the near gale force winds continue, cooler too with a threat of snow! As in no hurry to move on we read in bed, I am really enjoying Phillip Pullmans Northern Lights, the second time I have read his Dark Materials and the books are far superior to the film and TV series! With gusty winds and rain sweeping across the Lac and dark menacing clouds covering the mountain top it was not a day to be outside so I had a good wash including my hair which set me up nicely for the day. After breakfast we managed to get out of our tight parking spot, turn around and head along the Lac road out of Switzerland to Thonon – les – Bains. It was an interesting journey of only 26 miles but included some heavy falls of snow which soon started to lay and we were pleased that we had two new winter tires on the front of the van! It was very beautiful to see everything covered in snow and we were pleased to be driving on the flat roads. We managed to find our spot near the Lac in Thonon after a couple of small detours and as there were already several campers parked up waiting for things to improve the town end, we as usual, parked as far away from them as possible. As we had not had our breakfast long we were keen to get out for a walk especially as the snow hadn’t reached here but as soon as we got our coats on squally showers came in with loads of white water on the Lac so we finished yesterday’s very tasty nut loaf with the last of the smelly cheese. The rain quickly cleared so we set off along the prom towards the marina and old fishing port but it was straight into a head wind and icy cold, not helped by the lack of sunshine! We soon spotted 30 Grebes sleeping in the choppy Lac followed by large numbers of lovely Tufted Ducks in the marina. The quaint plane tree square looked a bit sad in this inclement weather with everything shut. We walked to the end of the pier where the ferry docks from Switzerland, in fact we saw them several times today out on the lumpy Lac! At least we had a tail wind on the way back and the sun actually came out as we got near the van so continued onto the entrance to the Plage de Thonon an open air swimming pool complex with a large slide into the Lac and a really long flume. We would love to take Arlo here but it is only open for a couple of months in high summer and even then I bet the lac water is still cold! There is the Chateau de Ripaille with its vineyards just up the hill so as the sun was still out and things had warmed up we went to see it. The Chateau is covered in scaffold with builders repairing the roof but we discover a path leading down to the Lac and very lovely it was with a choice of walks, along the pebble beach with rolling waves and huge trees washed ashore or along the Chateau wall which was huge to keep the olden day undesirables out! We choose the beach to start with which was just stunning now the sun was out. The Lac surrounded by snowy mountains when you could see them in the break in the clouds. We would like to come and see it again at the end of the summer. The Lac is huge and more like an inland sea - it would be great for foiling! At the second watch tower and with the beach becoming a bit narrow we moved up to the well-trodden path running alongside the wall. We hoped to get to a spot where the wall turned inland so we could do a circular walk but it just went on and on, past the Naturist Beach (no takers today) so we stopped when we reached another watch tower on the waters edge and turned for the van. We again had our six-mile legs and had over a mile to walk back! We had a quick look around in the Chateau vineyards but you had a pay to see the inside of the Chateau so gave that a miss returning to the van for a well-deserved cuppa and cake! Who knows what tomorrow will bring with more snow forecast but we might take a chance and head up the mountain to one of our old favourites perhaps Bernex or Le Chevrerie for a spot of snow shoeing or even a go out on the skies depending on what the weather is like???


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