Wednesday 8 October.
We both wore our waterproof trousers when we left, more to keep our legs warm than to keep dry. The rain had disappeared, though it had been heavy during the night, so we didn't bother with our rain jackets. It was a long walk today, in excess of 30 km so we were up early, I posted my blog, downloaded the newspaper, packed and breakfasted for leaving at 7:30 am.
It was an extra 2 km from the Mosaigies Motel into Orbe centre before we actually got going on today's route. It was still dark and difficult to read the directions from my notes and when I did make out the street names it was a problem to find them on the street corners. Eventually I had to ask the way to Place du Marche only to find we were there. I was able to navigate our way now from this starting point and the sky was getting lighter which helped. The route turned onto a long straight road, Rue de Chavornay, with a railway line on one side and on the other a cycle track for us to walk on. We should have passed Orbe Castle and Church but didn't see them. Continuing along the road we could see what we took to be Bavois at the far end of the road. It seemed a long way, more than the 3 km the book said. I had a feeling that something wasn't right and when we reached the town entry signs found instead of being Bavois it was Chavornay. We couldn't figure out where we had gone wrong, Moira consulted the map on her iPad and it appeared that we were on course but Bavois was it was still some distance away. Going back to Cicerone I discovered that Chavornay had been missed out of the route description but was on the list of towns we go through, it was 5 km from Orbe. Bavios was still another 3 km further. We now found the underpass to get over the railway line and onto the road to Bavois.
The 3 km seemed shorter than our initial 5 km stint and we covered it very quickly. At Bavois we stopped to sit on a bench in the church graveyard for a rest. It was good that we had recovered our breaths as the next section just kept going up. We were under the impression that the profile was all downhill to Lausanne and Lake Geneva, but found it wasn't the case. The road was winding up the hillside and when we thought it was levelling out it went round a bend and continued to climb. We could see the motorway above us and a viaduct that took it over a gully and we were to cross it. It never seemed to get nearer but when we did reach it we had made the top as well but rather than go down it just levelled out until we arrived at Oulens-sous-Exchallens. There is was coffee time and there was a nice bus shelter where we could brew up.
The route today wasn't particularly interesting as we headed down a wide flat valley with cows ringing the bells around their necks every-time they moved. A lot of the walking was on minor roads initially but there still seemed to be a lot of traffic about and we had to be attentive to it. Shortly after our morning break we did leave the road and headed to the woods on a concrete path. There was the occasional hill but nothing to strenuous for us to tackle. When we reached Etagnieres we found a bench in the square for lunch. We were nearing Lausanne and we could catch glimpses of Lake Geneva and the Alps behind gave us an indication of what was ahead.
The next section through Morrens to Le Mont-sur-Lausanne was supposed to be 7.5 km through some nice wooded countryside with a bit of climbing. We reached the industrial area of Le Mont in about 45 minutes. I was hoping the guide book had made another mistake and somehow getting a few kilometres less to walk. It wasn't the case, Le Mont stretched along the Rue de Cugy for quite some way and the distance we had to cover was accurate. This road had a pavement and it was on the bus route into Lausanne but for some reason our guide kept taking loops into the woods and back again. We took one of these loops that added about half a kilometre and some climbing to our walk. After that we decided to stick to the pavement on the Rue de Cugy all the way into the city. Now all the climbing we had been doing recently was rewarded with a continuos downhill all the way into the centre of Lausanne. It wasn't steep and we were able to stride out and make good time. This wasn't the best side of Lausanne, it was a steady row of dingy little shops and houses. We checked out any restaurants to return later if the prices were reasonable. They seemed to be either a pizzeria or a kebab place and the prices were a still high.
When we reached the city centre it became more attractive, with the tower of the Cathedral dominating. There were some big magnificent building in a large square we reached near the University. A sign for Hotel Marche, where we were staying, directed us this way, but now there were no more pointers. I asked a few people but I think most were also tourists and didn't know. Moira managed to pick up a street map from another hotel and after a lot of arguing we found we were only a few streets away. It was good at last to get to our room and relax. I don't know how these hotels calculate the prices; our room wasn't en suite, the shower and toilet were in the corridor, the room was a good size but nothing special. It wasn't by any means a luxury hotel but it cost €120. The woman at reception though was very helpful, she found out the times of the ferry tomorrow to Villeneuve, phoned places there for accommodation for us and booked a room in another expensive hotel, it was all that was available.
Later we went out to find a place to eat. There didn't seem to be anything appealing, pubs, pizzeria and kebab restaurants. We ended up, though not necessarily much better, at a MacDonald's. It was burgers and fries again. At least it prevents us starving and it was affordable, just.
The WiFi was good and we were able to listen to the radio via the Internet. I didn't sleep too well, worrying about the cost of things here. It also occurred to me that being outwith the EU whether our medical cards would be valid. If we had an accident here I visualised the cost of treatment to be horrendous. This also kept me awake.