TMB Day 6, Les Contamines to Les Houches

  • August 20th, 2018

  • 21.9km | ascent 924m | descent 1029m

  • Accommodation in Les Houches: Les Campanules (booking.com, €127, room only)

We decided to have breakfast at the hotel for €15 per person and it was a wonderful buffet with lots of cake! We had decided to sleep in and have a lazy start after reading that the stage would be slightly easier than the past few days. We left the hotel around 9am and it was a lovely easy morning along dirt paths and roads through picturesque villages. Shortly after leaving, we bumped into an English guy called Sam who was walking the same direction as us so we started walking together. He was great company and time was flying by.

Dad and our new friend Sam from England

Dad and our new friend Sam from England next to a fountain that we filled our water bottles at

The path steadily climbed up through villages and it did feel easier (maybe I’ve finally got my trail legs), but it was very very hot and the sweat was pouring out. One of the reasons it’s best to leave early in the morning (not at 9am) 😉 A house with a view in Le Champel

A house with a view in Le Champel

Chapelle du Champel - first built in 1661, it was rebuilt in 1700

Chapelle du Champel – first built in 1661, it was rebuilt in 1700

Looking back down the valley from Le Champel

Looking back down the valley from Le Champel

TMB signs

TMB signs

We stopped with Sam at the high point of the day at Col de Voza (1653m) to have cake and coke, overlooking the Tramway du Mont Blanc, which pulled in while we were sitting there. My wild blueberry tart was amazing and dad was pretty happy with his waffle!

Dad about to tuck into a waffle at Col de Voza (1653m) with the Tramway du Mont Blanc line behind him

Dad about to tuck into a waffle at Col de Voza (1653m) with the Tramway du Mont Blanc line behind him – the blueberry tart is mine!

The Tramway du Mont Blanc

The Tramway du Mont Blanc

The descent was steep at times but mostly along a road, and it was nice to be able to see our destination.

Descending from Col de Voza towards Les Houches

Descending from Col de Voza towards Les Houches

Sam was heading to the train station to meet some friends so we said goodbye and I checked google maps to find our accommodation. Yesterday our hotel was 1km before the town, and today, it’s 1km after town, oh oh, how to break this news to dad! It must’ve been recommended somewhere otherwise I wouldn’t have booked it, way back in February (I can’t remember how or why I chose it). The final sting in the tail was that the hotel was not only past Les Houches, but that it was uphill! (Only just off the trail though.) We arrived at the quite fancy hotel reception panting and sweating, and the very well dressed man checked us in.

Our home for the night at Les Campanules just outside Les Houches

Our home for the night at Les Campanules just outside Les Houches

Our room has a balcony which faces Mont Blanc, that alone is worth the extra effort of getting here. We both emphatically agreed we weren’t going back downhill to Les Houches (unless the hotel had a free shuttle which they didn’t), so we reserved dinner at the hotel for 7pm. I asked if there were washing facilities and like every other place we’ve so far stayed at, they said no, so we hand-washed our clothes again and hung them on the balcony using my clothes-line… only for a heavy downpour to start literally minutes after hanging out the clothes. Again, lucky to arrive before the rain.

Our room for the night at Les Campanules just outside Les Houches

Our room for the night at Les Campanules just outside Les Houches

Relaxing on our balcony with a view of Mont Blanc (obscured by cloud in this photo) at Hotel Les Campanules

Relaxing on our balcony with a view of Mont Blanc (obscured by cloud in this photo) at Hotel Les Campanules

One of the lounge rooms at the stylish Hotel Les Campanules

One of the lounge rooms at the stylish Hotel Les Campanules

Dad had a two-course meal of a salad and salmon dish and really enjoyed it. I got a local specialty called the tartiflette which I’m still regretting after eating my annual cheese quota in one sitting!

Dinner in the hotel - one of dad's favourites

Dinner in the hotel – one of dad’s favourites

I made the mistake of getting the local specialty called tartiflette - it's ALOT of melted Reblochon cheese on top of potato, bacon and onion. Nice but way too much cheese for me.

I made the mistake of getting the local specialty called tartiflette – it’s ALOT of melted Reblochon cheese on top of potato, bacon and onion. Nice but way too much cheese for me.

It was great to have a somewhat easier day today, especially as dad’s cold has really taken hold now and he has a nasty cough. Early night tonight.

TMB Day 6 - info from Garmin Connect

TMB Day 6 – info from Garmin Connect

TMB Day 6 - profile from Garmin Connect

TMB Day 6 – profile from Garmin Connect

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