We feel refreshed after a good night’s sleep and wake to find that the skies are blue and any signs of the previous night’s thunder and rain have been swept away. While we have our breakfast we watch several coaches roll up and pick people up from the hotel opposite us. Despite the ski resort being almost empty this hotel seems to do a roaring trade with coach parties, that evening another four coach-loads turn up. From our vantage point it’s an ugly concrete monstrosity, but from the other side you can see a generous restaurant terrace and balconies that look across the valley to the mountains on the other side. The only other thing that’s open is the Immobilier and when we wander around the streets we see the estate agent showing people around one of the chalets that is for sale.
Near the lift station is a map of walks in the area, none of them are particularly long but we decide to follow the blue trail to the top of the lift and then the orange trail back down again. The trails are marked with splodges of coloured paint and we follow them up a track through the woodlands. Part way along the track a maintenance vehicle pulls alongside us and lets us know (in good English, fortunately) that the route to the top is shut as they are building a new ski lift. He advises us to follow the purple route back down to the ski resort, so we skirt the muddy edge of the work site until we can turn left down another track.
As we head downhill the track is less churned up by the works vehicles. A small stream runs under a clapper bridge and the floor of the largely coniferous woodland is sprinkled with interesting fungi. Information boards are placed at regular intervals along here informing us of the types of trees that we can see. Where the trees part and views emerge there is information about the peaks and valleys. It makes a rather average walk a bit more interesting.
We devote the afternoon to cleaning. It’s not like us, but Paul had picked up some polish in Halfords and wanted to see what sort of difference it made to the exterior paintwork. He is so pleased with the result that he gets rather over excited and spends a few hours buffing Bertie. I feel too guilty to just laze in the sunshine so I do a bit of cleaning in between studying maps and deciding how we will spend the next few days.
That evening we stay for a second night and watch the comings and goings of the coach loads of tourists as we discuss various options for parking spots over the coming days. Paul’s priority is clear – stay as high as possible – the sun and warm weather looks like it’s around for at least the next week.
Randonnee des 3 Jasses et Campels
- Distance: 8.3 km
- Total Elevation: 297 m
- Time taken: 2hrs 16mins
- Type of Route: Easy walk along well marked tracks
- Further Information: From tourist information in the 3-Ax Ski area