Monday, 12 October 2009

Day Hike: Montbovon to Jaman station via Rochers- de-Naye

Just north of Montreux at the eastern tip of Lac Leman (Lake Geneva) lies the Pays-d'Enhaut bordering the cantons of Vaud and Fribourg. This is a beautiful area with quiet villages and rolling hills on which graze fat, contended cows. It is a pastoral scene, which does not seem to be touched by the passage of time, but which is with the hum of small roads and the quiet clatter of the MOB railway (which passes through on its way to Gstaad and onto Zweisimmen).

Montbovon is a junction where people change trains if they want to head north towards small village of Gruyere village (immortalised as the home of the famous cheese of the same name). From here i hiked for some 4 hours passing just a handful of people - the solitude and quietness was breathtaking. It felt like i had the whole of nature to myself.

The path is gently upwards as far as Allieres, from it is relatively flat along a narrow and little used tarmac road heading through a narrow defile towards the Lac d'Hongrin. This is the warm up and takes about 1.5 hours. The next section of the hike is the test for just after a narrow gorge, signpost points southwards and the path shoots upwards towards Rochers-de-Naye. It is a pretty remorseless climb up to the famous viewpoint, where after the quite your senses are suddenly assailed by 'tout le monde' (dogs, children, teenagers, parents, grandparents) who have come up from Montreux on the cog train to view the Alps and the Marmots in their paradise.

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