A place of two halves… Les Planches en Montagne
On our route north from Boise d’Amont we headed towards a recommendation in our guide for Les Planches en Montagne. We’d read that this location contained a fairly unique and interesting waterfall. So we made our way slowly up and down the winding mountain passes. These are not for the faint hearted. We came across our first glimpse that this cascade would be impressive on the descent into the village.
As we arrived into the village, we were directed to a small car park located by a bridge. We had a quick bite for lunch (baguette, cheese and cold meats), then began our walk. As we walked onto the bridge, we realised that we were in fact 20-30 meters above the bottom of this narrow canyon that looks to cut the village in half.
The steep sided canyon was rocky and uninviting due to the steepness of its sides. That said, there was the obligatory path that navigated itself carefully around the side of the gorge. We walked along the path, holding onto the railings and keeping a close eye on Chief. As we continued on, a deep rumbling sound began to build into a crescendo as we were confronted with this almighty waterfall. Swollen and bursting at the seams from the previous few days rain, the water tore down the gorge, rumbling and shaking the rock as it passed. Spray was thrown high into the air, which considering we’d already had two days of continual rain wasn’t well received. Maybe it would have been nicer on a sunny day!
The path brings you round from this point into the village itself, winding up streets reminiscent of the Cotswolds, you arrive in the village centre. The gentle stream that passes through the first half of the village gives no indication or insight into what you are about to face further down. The height drop of the waterfalls is huge and the power of the water is clear to see as it’s carved out the rock with no remorse.
Some of the houses we saw were perched so precariously and close to the river, perhaps a little too close for comfort. I guess for the inhabitants of this village it’s second nature to them, not for us though.
On our navigation through the village, we observed that there was another walk into the hills on the other side following part of a long national park walkway that follows the path taken by an electric tramway. Here are some pictures of us exploring this part of the village and surrounding area, it was beautiful…