Sam’s Le Grand Bornand and more blog 2018

17/09/18 Nans-Sous-Sainte-Anne, France

This is an amazing place. There is an aire for 6 vans but it was full so we parked in the car park next to it. There is no problem parking there for the night as long as you pay about €3. The village does not seem much but just a short walk away is Grotte Sarrasine, Creux Billard and Source du Lison.

You walk along the river to a bridge. Straight ahead is Grotte Sarrasine which is where the river runs underneath and when it hasn’t been raining for a few days you can go into the cave and you can here the river. Using our phones as torches we ventured further in to where a large pool sat. You can not capture the experience on film or the amazing cave.

Across the bridge is Source du Lison

Around the the corner from there is Creux Billard, another pool that is connected to the other two.

16/09/18 Seyssel, France

After saying goodbye to Wim, Elly and Sky with a farewell meal at la Boheme was a stop Seyssel. A free aire along the river Rhone where a water sports centre is located. A short walk into the village when we arrived but on our return was this little dog just enjoying the sun laying in front of the van. She was really sweet but just sat and stared at you while you were eating. Even when the meal was inside the van she still managed to stare.


Back in 2007 while holidaying in Le Grand-Bornand, we visited the mountain Les Glières. At the top is a monument to the resistance who lost there lives.

In 2007 while looking around we managed to take a wrong turn and ended up at the bottom of the mountain, the car was still at the top! Going back the way we come down was out of the question as it was very steep and very wet so the only way back was along the road. 7 hours for what started as a small walk around the plateau and luckily we had bottles of water. This year we decided to go back on the Duke and everything was fine with no wrong turns.

This is the route we had to walk back in 2007.


Starting at Manigod was a walk to tète de Cabeau where some pistes start for the skiers. It did end up a 7.1km round trip but was also very steep with a height of 88 flights of stairs.


I love Wim and Elly’s dog Sky. I’m quite positive that he is part fish so the four of drove to Lake Annecy in Wim’s car for Sky to have a swim.

Then a picnic on the way back at Les Confins


Staying on the campsite entitles you to free rides on the ski busses and reduced prices on the ski lifts.  La Clusaz, an old village that has been hosting winter sports since 1907 has 2 ski lifts but when we arrived, the lifts had closed for maintenance so it was just a motorbike ride around the mountain roads that day.

The next day day we walked to the ski lift in Le Grand-Bornand which was open. The first cable car takes you to Rosay where there is a couple of restaurants and some walks.

The the second is a chair lift taking you to the peak, Lachat, where paragliders line the top waiting for the right wind to lift there wing/canopy and then up they go.

Getting on the chair lift we met a man and his daughter. The man was 91 years old and didn’t bat an eyelid getting on.

I enjoyed the walk back down (not quite sure that Andy did) even though it was a bit steep in places. We only walked down to the middle and took the cable car the rest of the way because it was our turn for dinner and we was running out of time.

Andys birthday day was celebrated in a restaurant in La Grand-Bornand called La Boheme. It was a really wonderful afternoon with fantastic food and fantastic company. The meal was a table barbecue where you grill your own meat (beef and chicken) and put a pan of cheese in to melt which you then drip onto your food. It was delicious!!


Andy seems to like taking the Duke around the mountain roads so up to the Col de la Colombière at 1613m altitude. The route is technically difficult for cyclists and has appeared in the Tour de France 22 times since 1960. After a short walk was lunch while reminiscing about when we were here before and walked to the peak and saw the mountain goats. Seeing the bearded vultures is definitely a sight to see.

Market day is a bit smaller than previous years but we got some really nice cheese and 50 tiny sausages for €5 which are so moreish! Andy actually stopped for a coffee which he never does (and I will be showing his mum the photograph).

That night was Wim’s turn with dinner and he done 3 small chickens on the spit roast. It was quite funny watching him and Andy trying to decide if they were cooked or not.


The first couple days were more about relaxing and rejuvenating ourselves from the long time that was in England. The first night, I slept for 12.5 hours! We took the Duke to Les Confins and just took a short walk to the lake.

Yesterday was was the longer 3 hour, 13.85km  walk to Lormay which is the end of the valley.

When we are with Wim and Elly, the norm now is to each take turns on cooking the evening meal and last night was us. A very nice whole duck on the spit roast.

01/09/18 Le Grand-Bornand, France

Finally we are away again after spending so long back in Britain due to Andy’s mum being unwell and organising her care and working some night shifts, we were both more than ready to leave again. I did my last night shift from 23:00 29/08/18 to 03:00 30/08/18, drove home, had a quick expresso and got straight in the van to get to Folkestone. While we were waiting to load on the train I laid on the bed for a quick nap. When I woke, 2 hours later! we were already at Lille. A stop at Joinville on the way down and finally at Le Grand-Bornand 01/09/18.

This is the 8th visit for us and it’s still as beautiful as the first time we came here in our tent. Le Grand-Bornand is famous for the Tour de France with it departing 3 times and finishing 5 times here. There is lots of hiking in the summer and different winter sports in the winter. Le Grand-Bornand is also the birthplace for reblochon, a cheese produced from abondancière, taurine and montbéliarde cows raised on crau hay.

It was the end of their annual children’s fair when we arrived which is all about the children who have no worry’s about going round on wooden bikes.

Both Andy and myself were so tired that we slept for a solid 12.5 hours last night!


Travelling through Europe in a motorhome