We flew into Geneva via London. Barely squeaked by on transfer time in London. Heathrow ran us out of our international flight, through immigration, out to the main area, and back through full security. At least the bag with our hiking poles was checked through to the final destination.
Geneva airport has a free ticket good for 80 minutes of public transport, bus or train, so we got the train, got off at station Cornavin and walked about six blocks north east to Geneva City Hostel. Spartan but clean 2 person room, and pastry and coffee available on the corner the next morning by 7am.
I'd carefully traced the GR65 route through Geneva on my gps map software before leaving home, as well as loading someone's gps track of the entire route to Le Puy, so wasn't concerned about navigating through Geneva. Fired up the gps, saw the city and streets with no problem, but absolutely no trace of my manually added route, or the trace I thought I had added. Knowing in general where the route left Geneva, we started walking southwest and in a while, spotted a pilgrim route marker on a building corner, and between the two of us, managed to follow the markers out of town, and crossed into France before lunch.
It wasn't till I got home that I realized that the French-German guidebook had a map of the route thru Geneva right in the front of the book.
Much of the day was easy walking, though it was a little warm, but the final push up a long uphill had us both exhausted by the time we reached our first gite - the Fromagerie at Beaumont. No host around, but we settled in, and soon a neighbor stopped by to tell us that the owner would be back later, and his kids would bring us supper.
This is strikingly beautiful country, brilliant greens, a lot of ups and downs, as our legs were telling us.
Soon after this the weather began to change. We dropped down to Seyssel on the Rhone, where it was 40 degrees C, and then began to rain. Over the next few days, we noticed that this was a pattern, temperature going up means rain. Definitely no bland boring cloudless skys!
This is all heavy snow country in the winter. Every house has huge piles of firewood, and you see large stacks in the forest. Sleds and similar sit in the yards.
|Municipal gite at Chaumont|
Chanaz was the next night - pouring rain, and when we finally found the chambre d'hôte we had reserved, locked and no note or host to be found. This is about a steep a little village as you can imagine and by the time we had found our lodging we had trudged up and down several times. So, we asked at the El Camino gite next door, if they knew our host. No, but they were extremely helpful, and let us stay in their gite for an hour until our hostess finally showed up. El Camino wasn't listed in any of the guides, but was very nice. We would have stayed there if we had not made the other reservation. Didn't want to give pilgrims a bad name by cancelling reservations at last minute. However, if you go to Chanaz, stay at El Camino.
This country is roughly the latitude of Washington state, and has corresponding greenery and weather. Abandoned buildings soon disappear in the shrubbery.
|View at Chaumont|
|Rhone at Seyssel|
|En route to Yenne|
|Looking back up the Rhone|
|The very welcome bar/gite Domaine des Chamois at St. Maurice de Rotherens|
|Our Accueil jacquaire room in the Valencogne marie bldg|
|Susan in a revealing photo|