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On the way to Switzerland 🇨🇭

Hiking past Besançon was no easy task as I was still carrying quite a lot of weight and there was quite a steep mountain I had to hike over. The natural landscapes were amazing and the view of Besançon was a really nice reward to collect at the top 😊. After having hiked several kilometers, I started to feel some pain on one of my shoulders and knees (I had accumulated those damages during previous parts of the trip). As a result, I started slowing down and delaying my arrival in Vuillafans, a small village in the countryside between Besançon and Pontarlier. I was still at least 8 km out when the dusk came and had to stop relying on the daylight. That's when I had to face what was probably the scariest episode of the whole trip, which consisted in hiking a few kilometers in complete darkness through a forest on the mountains only relaying on my mobile phone's light torch. The scenery reminded me of the scene in a B horror movie where the victim is running through a forest with tall trees under the moon while listening to the reassuring sound of river rapids in the background, right before the serial killer catches up 🥺. Moreover, my mobile phone light torch did not allow me to see further than a couple of meters. I constantly kept looking backwards to make sure no animals were following me, forgot about all the pain 😂 and tried to walk as fast as possible to get the hell out of there and reach my accomodation before my host went to bed 😱. Fortunately, I found my host awake and she was kind enough to give me something to eat before going to sleep.

I had another peculiar experience on the way from Pontarlier to Jougne. I was walking along a relatively densely populated road leading to the Swiss border when I noticed that Google Map was showing the trail going off-road into one of the mountains nearby. Once I reached the bifurcation leading away from the main road, at first glance, I couldn't spot any trail whatsoever. Then, looking more carefully, I noticed something that resembled an abandoned narrow and steep path full of rocks, tall grass and bushes climbing the mountain and disappearing into a wood. After putting significant effort into hiking all the way up, I reached the top only to find a fence blocking the way and preventing me to continue on the same path. Unfortunately, I found no way around and was forced to start methodically taking out the wodden poles that were holding the barbed wire until a good part of the fence collapsed (I am really sorry to all french farmers as that was the second time that I was forced to take down a fence over the course of my trip in order to proceed) 🥺🤫

The hike from Jougne in France to Orbe in Switzerland was full of truly stunning landscapes. I was just slightly disappointed by the look of the French Swiss border due to the absence of French and Swiss flags. I guess I shouldn't have expected much from crossing a border on a mountain with not that many people going by. That said, what I found was a quite peculiar c'est un cul-de-sac sign with a drawing of buttocks. I later found out that it simply meant this road has a dead end.

After a while I had been hiking down the mountain on the Swiss side, I was lucky enough to see a view of the Alps which is impossible to forget. The sky was so clear that I could see far away in the distance this long chain of rock giants acting as a fence for the southern Swiss border and fading away in the southeast. I spent several minutes in awe of this majestic view that I could admire from at least 50 km away moving on with my journey towards Italy 🏔️🏔️🏔️

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