Monday, 30 September 2013

Via Gebennensis (September 30, 2013) - Day 23 Yenne to Saint-Genix-sur-Guiers

Actually I'm a little past Saint-Genix-sur-Guiers by about 1.5 km. Overall a very quiet day...did not get lost, no dangerous animals, nice weather as rain held off, no overnight ghosts and I did not meet a single St. Jacques pelerin.

Breakfast is always the place to start...this morning a simple buffet style

I may have slipped a few dried apricots for the road as you will see later. I was the only person at breakfast and a few minutes early to boot however the nice lady had everything ready...gave her a Canadian lapel pin and started walking at 7:40.

The first 16 km or so to Saint-Maurice-de-Rotherens was almost entirely mountain trails with a fair amount of elevation gain at over 700 metres. It took me over 4.5 hours and I was often working pretty hard (read drenched in sweat). A few pictures showing how rough the trail was in sections are shown below...sure was thankful for the Vibram soles of my Merrell trail shoes. Lesser footwear would have been a problem.

Tough trail section!!!

The going was quite slow at times simply because of wet conditions...I really used the trekking poles to steady myself and tried to be extra careful...all went well.

The guide books indicated that a variant trail should be followed in winter or foggy conditions. Neither applied as far I could tell so I went the regular way. Once on top the fog was pretty thick however I felt very safe sticking to the trail as it skirted the mountain ridge. Suffice to say that straying 5 to 10 feet or so to the right would not have been a good idea. 

Past those trees is a tremendous view and drop I think!

Later in the day - believe I walked along the top of the mountain

A little thank to the folks who maintain the trails...and for those little extras like cairns when the official signs are few and far between:

Small cairn

Medium cairn

Very large cairn

Had lunch and took care of blister prevention in Saint-Maurice-de-Rotherans

A little sparse however an improvement over some others

Further homage to WW1 sacrifices

WW1 Saint-Maurice-de-Rotherans - 15 soldiers died...current population 217

WW1 Gresin - 26 soldiers died...current population 360

In Gresin I was unsure of where the trail went...a lady stopped her car and pointed out the right path. She had a young son...maybe 7 or so...gave them each a Canadian lapel pin. The look on his face...priceless.

The scenery opened up in the afternoon and the walking was once again special...

Afternoon walking

Afternoon walking

Quite late in the day I came across a stand for St. Jacques de Compostelle walkers...totally on the honour system...and they even had a pilgrim stamp for my pilgrim book.

Stand with honour system

I bought a drink and a small cake, in the shape of a shell, for 1.1 profit there! This was a real lift and I left feeling lighter than ever..a few minutes later I had to come back and get my trekking poles!

Finally a little mystery that I would like to solve...came cross a memorial on the trail today:

Mystery memorial had the St. Jacques shell and an inscription Ultreia (onwards) 2008

I am now resting very comfortably in a Chambre d'Hotes called Sur le Chemin de Guiers run by Pascale. 

Future Pilgrims

Again this Chambre d'Hotes is very highly rated in my opinion. It has a room with 5 beds in it in typical gite fashion plus a very large room upstairs. The price is the same for a pelerin in either room at 40 euros for demi pension. I am lucky enough to have the upstairs room as two other pelerins have cancelled and I am the only guest.

My room

View from balcony attached to room


  1. Hahaha, I can't believe you left your trekking poles. Classic papa. Not sure why, but it reminds me of the time you made chicken pot pie and forgot to add the chicken.
    P.S. I figured out how to receive follow-up comments. So you may now attempt to match my comments, wit for wit. The gauntlet has been thrown. Your move sir.

    1. Ok Jeanne...j'attend ma chance mais tu sais que tu as a faire avec le maƮtre de "wit for wit".

      Je t'aime


  2. The wayside "honor stands" are fairly frequent in France. Usually coffee and/or tea water in a pump-flask, sometimes fresh fruit (depending on the season). You were lucky to find the little cakes at this one - I hadn't seen that before. And it's lovely to have a special, unique stamp to add to one's credencial, eh?

    Depending on your philosophy, you may want to consult a map as you go onwards. As you experienced with the mountain ridge, the FFRP lay out the GR routes for their scenic value. This generally involves walking around three sides of a square as well as the nearest mountaintop, when walking only one side would have sufficed for the through-hiker. It's worth consulting your local host, anyhow - especially since you are so conversational in French. Bon Chemin!

    1. Kitsambler...very helpful comment and I will be on the watch for this. I already know that I will not follow the GR65 after Saint-Julien-de-Chapteuil and will save myself 5kms.



  3. Oh I see ... don't believe that you can walk on water, but wear Merrell's just in case you have to!
    A snickers bar would have gone really well with your lunch!