Les Houches – Les Contamines
Wednesday 12th August 2020
Today we were walking from Saint-Jervais-les-Baines to the traditional village of Les Contamines, approximately 16km.
The TMB path contours through the forest high above the Bionnassay valley whilst passing through pretty Alpine hamlets with excellent views of Mont Blanc and across the foothills of the Alps.
These hamlets are out of this world…I want to live here….anywhere right here!
We walk and walk and walk in really high temperatures.
We stop for coffee, and have a picnic in the local square, enjoying the sunshine in the shade! Before we know it two hours have gone and we realise we need to move again!
We walk out of the village, through some more forest heading towards Notre Dame de la Gorge, which was formerly the local parish church for the residents of the valley.
They say this church marks the end of the road and is the start of the trails and mountain paths.
Temperatures have been very hot along the way so once we reach the church we stop for a break, sitting under a tree, admiring our views.
We then continue up a very steep climb, arrive at a short flat, then there’s a very steep climb, then a tiny bit of flat, we descend, we climb, we descend then climb some more and then some more (you get the picture)…there was a bit of everything today which I quite enjoyed. These climbs though are not just steep hills, these are at times on such a gradient it’s very strenuous carrying our heavy loads upwards to reach the tops.
Over 2,000 feet is gained and it’s instantly lost (well not quite but you know what I mean)…this is how it goes on the TMB!
However there are many decent views to be had everywhere you look which at times (not always) takes your mind off the job in hand.
Today we are staying at Refuge de Fioux which is beautifully situated and has a panoramic terrace.
Its the perfect place to relax after a day hiking. Tonight on the menu is soup, potato gratin (second day on the menu), followed by apple tart!