Dwight Peck's personal Web site

Winter 2005-2006

Short breaks from poring over the newspapers as the Bushies implode


You may not find this terribly rewarding unless you're included here, so this is a good time for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught up in the sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.

A round-up of still more farm pix, 19 March 2006

Mondion

Mondion is a farm at 1270m near the top of Bassins' Route des Montagnes of which, in our Farms of the Jura series, we have only the most blurry and unsatisfactory photos.

Last weekend we set out alone and failed outstandingly, twice, to reach Mondion, but today it will end differently. Because today, 19 March 2006, we're bringing our personal fitness trainer along to keep us motivated.

A snowplow has bludgeoned its way up to the trailhead at Bugnonet-Chaumette (971m) and thus saved us half an hour on the walk up. But the snowmobiles have been back and the Route des Montagnes up to the right has been thoroughly defaced all the way to the top of it (as will be seen below).

Passing the farm of Le Bugnonet

At the top of the trail up the Bois au Ministre (1110m), the farm of La Dunanche appears on its knoll, and behind it in the distance, La Dôle.

At the top of the Bois au Ministre above La Chaumette (1128m), the La Dunanche sign, also advertising the new tourist amenity, the small memorial and picnic spot at the extreme northern end of the World War Two defensive fortifications that run down the hillsides all the way to Lake Geneva.

The "dragons' teeth" concrete tank-blockers are known as "toblerones", after the Swiss chocolate that comes in the same shape, and the Sentier des Toblerones is an interesting hiking path that follows the fortifications down from Bassins village to Gland and Nyon on the lake. Here's the little lookout called La Dunanche near the top of the fortifications, with its obligatory flagpole.

Narrator relaxing amongst dragons' teeth, and working on his farmer's-tan, March 2006

Our personal fitness trainer has his own priorities, however, and we scurry along behind him past Les Frasses (1150m).

At the top of the forest of Les Gilles (1250m), we looked all round for the chalet at La Bâme -- nowhere to be found -- it couldn't have gone away -- we wondered whether it were buried entirely under the snow. We searched all over for it -- it was behind a tree.

Our trainer, J.J., took time off for some calisthenics and isometric fitness exercises on the meadow and now has to catch up with us at La Bâme.

The view over Lake Geneva from this chalet is astonishing, on a clear day.

The architectural aesthetics may not be out of the top drawer, but in a huge windstorm all that concrete must be comforting.

Our snowmobile friends, having come up the Route des Montagnes to La Bassine, went wild out on these pastures. Daring fellows, they must have been, too, and very fond of loud vroom-vroom noises.

The farm at Mondion, our destination finally in sight.

Staying far away from the snowmobile tracks, largely for ethical reasons.

Mondion farm from the south, with the big rock at 1303m on the left. Now we've finally got some pretty fair photos to improve our Mondion entry on the Farms list.

Dr Pirri approaching the top of the Route des Montagnes from Mondion

This snowmobile driver came off the cornice and was evidently airborne for at least three meters -- one wonders whether it was planned that way, but anyway he made it. Did this event take place in daylight, evading witnesses, or did he sneak up here at night and just take his chances?

Our trainer/guide has decided that it's time to head back home, down the Route des Montagnes.

Where has Mr Vroom-Vroom not been, then?

Park signs with hats on

At the top of the Route des Montagnes, a welcome to the Noirmont park

The Number 7 Swiss National Bicycling Trail passes right up the length of the Route des Montagnes -- it's got to be one of the most grueling sections on any of the national bike trails. Even without all the snow. Similarly the Chemin des Crêtes international hiking trail bisects the Route des Montagnes at about 1200m on its way down to St-Cergue. This is the crossroads of the sporty world, right here.

At the end of the day, passing the farm of Le Bugnonet again, we're very pleased to have got to Mondion finally, and we recommend bringing your fitness trainer along when you really want to make good time on the trail.

from SwitzerlandMobility (http://map.schweizmobil.ch/?lang=en)


Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 14 March 2006, revised 11 February 2008, 28 August 2014.


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