St-Julien-en-Genevois to Simandre-sur-Suran

Walking in France: Approaching the Jura mountains
Approaching the Jura mountains

This was a rather demanding introduction to our walk, as we had to cross the great pleated range of the Jura.

We were walking from east to west, while the folds of the mountains went north to south, so time after time we found ourselves climbing steeply and immediately descending into the next valley.

However the weather was fine and there were enough villages on the way to keep us fed and caffeinated, so it was not hard overall.

Walking in France: In the Jura
In the Jura

Of the five nights in this section, two were spent in hotels.

This was unusual for us, as we prefer to camp if we can, but in these mountainous parts there was evidently a shortage of flat land for camping grounds.

After this we would not stay in a hotel again for almost three weeks.

Getting to St-Julien-en-Genevois

Walking in France: A wintry Canberra start to a French summer holiday
A wintry Canberra start to a French summer holiday

Wearing our thin summer trousers, our flimsy short-sleeved shirts and the only warm tops that we had with us, we waited, perishing with cold, for the local bus.

It loomed out of the fog with headlights gleaming and we got in. It was 8 am and the bus was crowded but we did not mind, as we were now gratefully warm.

Once in town, we caught the long-distance bus straight to the international airport in Sydney. This year we had decided to give ourselves a treat by going Premium Economy instead of Tourist Class.

The first leg (to Hong Kong) was with Cathay Pacific, and the second was with Air France. The seats were a bit wider than in Tourist Class and we were given a pair of socks and a toothbrush, but overall we were still sitting up for the duration and we came to the conclusion that it was not worth paying twice the money for that.

Walking in France: Paris airport thirty hours later
Paris airport thirty hours later

In Paris we spent a few hours in a cafe at the airport and then caught the TGV directly to Lyon without going into Paris itself.

We changed trains there, and went up beside the Rhône to Bellegarde, where we changed again for the last leg to St-Julien-en-Genevois.

We were slightly worried about how long the train took to get from Bellegarde to St-Julien, as we knew we would be walking that distance or more (in the reverse direction) the following day.

It felt strange to step onto the platform at St-Julien, exactly repeating what we had done less than a year ago. However the walk that lay ahead would be quite different from last year’s

Our route for this section

Our route for this section

Day 1: Saint-Julien-en-Genevois to Neydens

Day 2: Neydens to Bellegarde-sur-Valserine

Day 3: Bellegarde-sur-Valserine to Saint-Germain-de-Joux

Day 4: Saint-Germain-de-Joux to Nantua

Day 5: Nantua to Simandre-sur-Suran

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