Day43 Mouthier-Haut-Pierre to Pontarlier – Gorges and Elevation

Starting off on a crisp morning.

Some trouble this evening with uploading images so despite the beauty, there will be few images and no video until we get home. (Post Via note: It’s all here now)

The expensive night at the hotel ended early with our 5:45 alarm. We’d left the window open to help our clothes dry and woke to a chilly room. The temperature had dropped into the high 40’s overnight. Good thing we had several blankets.

We decided to raid our food supply for breakfast. We feasted on an orange, and what passes for a breakfast bar and energy bar here. They are incredibly tiny and mostly sugar. I do miss our protein bars back home on these occasions. That left us with 1/4 baguette, four slices of cheese and one energy bar each. Slim pickings. But at least Mark’s pack was light.

So we left our key in the door to our room since that is how we found it. A hotel with an unmanned reception 24 hours a day….Maybe that is normal here, but it sure seems strange to me. Anyway we were on our way.

Boy, what a start! We climbed and climbed and walked in the woods around the Gorges de Nouailles (Noodle Gorge). It was absolutely beautiful!

Climbing up the gorge

We did spend most of our morning climbing up the gorge. There were some terribly narrow paths with sheer drops. The Source of the River Loue was so spectacular.

Once we climbed above the river the world seemed so quiet. But do not worry, we continued to climb.

At the village of Ouhans we’d hoped to stop to get some lunch supplies. There was no evident store in town however but there was a pretty but small chapel located on a hill adjacent to the town. It was the Notre Dame du l’Engles. It was very beautiful inside.

Chapelle Notre Dame Des Anges

Our lady of the angels

Danger Danger Will Robinson!

The climb was relentless. We walked through forests and roads that were so steep there were warning signs for cars about the gradient of the road. Finally we could see the top come into sight. We were running on fumes and needed to eat and sit down for a few minutes. So we nibbled on the rest of our food provisions for lunch which was not much. But it was all we had: a piece of bread, cheese, a few nuts, and a breakfast bar.

Logging operations

While we were preparing our lunch a car drove by, stopped, and backed up. A gentleman who lives nearby just wanted to chat with us. It was a kind gesture. I am continually amazed at the kindness of the local people here in the south of France. He was a retired Air France pilot so Mark enjoyed talking Aerospace with him.

We ended our journey with a suburban entry into Pontarlier. It was nondescript except for the chance encounter with a Decathlon sports store.

At our youth hostel for the evening we finally had the chance to meet and talk with the pilgrims we’d met a few days ago. It made for a delightful dinner. We cooked up some food we’d bought at the local market (cassoulet, peas and sausages) and boiled some eggs for lunch tomorrow.

Well that’s it folks. Tomorrow is our last full day in France. We travel to Jougne on the Swiss border. I’ll end this with one last artsy shot from the Gorge

Published by

Mark Dowty

"An Intentional Life"

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