We’ve got to that stage of having young teenagers….. Short walks aren’t much of a challenge (even though the suggestion of them is received with grunts of distain) so we are at that strange stage when some of the kids activities still have an appeal, or at least the promise of an ice cream (provided you’ve estimated the right number of ascent stretches!) almost warrants the whining and you feel you’ve done your good parent bit and at least got them to exercise for an hour or so. So we thought we’d share with you the two routes we took.
Route 1: to Plan Praz.
This is the trip they requested based on memories of good times on zip wires and canoes in cold water.
The bit from our apartment is a little hairy as you cross the main road RN205 in order to circumnavigate the town centre to avoid hundreds or tourists, but once you are on it, it has a marked cycle path. After you’ve crossed the railway line, it’s specifically sign posts you on to a green cycle route which brings you to Bois du Bouchet (the main hang gliding landing site and skate park). From there the route is off the roads and you can add extra distance by putting in a lap of the woods near Les Bois. Even doing that though its still only 5.5 M if you chose not to enter the park from the direction of Les Tines higher up the valley than Les Praz, shorter if you decide not to put the woodland loop in.
So it was quite a useful gentle ascent up the valley to get the kids used to cycling again, and of course it had plentiful refreshments available. It was also a hand experiment to see if the dog could cope with running along side a bike too.
The Garmin route out is available should you want to down load it. Ignore the 40 min time element of it though as we stopped for a bit.
And here is the return route quicker at just over 20 mins.
Route 2: Les Houches, Les Chavants.
Now this one was a little further with quite a bit more climbing involved, but it still only took us 41mins to get up there, including a few stretches of pushing bikes up hills with the accompanying whining. Admittedly, the last time the girls cycled up there one was in a bike trailer and the other on the back of a tag along, but they were vaguely familiar with our end destination given it was at the bottom of the Prarion ski lift.
So this route went down the valley on the Promenade de L’Arve (the path that takes the UTMB runners out of Chamonix, and TDS runners back in), going past the old horse riding place and past Les Houches train station, before going onto Les Houches village itself. Then you more gently meander up the village more gently to Lake des Chavants.
The area itself has a small rock climbing face, pony trecking and an ariel adventure park. Perhaps the most important part for our kids though was the new Guingette des Chavants cafe though, fully equipped with crepes, pop etc. plus cider for the adults. The building itself is marvellously contemporary and offers you the opportunity to regain your breath whilst sitting over the water listening to the fountain and watching a little fishing or rock climbing.
After refreshments, the journey back down the hill, through Les Bossons felt a lot quicker, as can be seen on the garmin route of our nearly 11 mile round trip.
So bear with it we say and make then earn their tea 🙂