Gan Che came in by train from Zurich at about 10:30 hrs. We met him in the railway station and took him to the youth hostel to leave his luggage in a free locker there. We had earlier left our luggage in lockers there too when we checked out of the hostel. We were very happy that Gan Che could join the trekking group at last and his son was recovering well.
After lunch, the four of us took the 12:45 hrs bus for Les Hauderes. The fare for that short trip was CHF16.20! Beng Eng and I each had a Swiss Saver Flexi Pass that we bought in Geneva for our scenic train rides and we enjoyed a 50% discount off the bus fare because of that. We reached Les Hauderes in just 45 minutes, enjoying some spectacular views on the way. From the village square where the bus dropped us, it was a short walk to Hotel des Alpes. The hotel was housed in a very attractive wooden building. We got a room for four on the second floor at CHF40 per person with breakfast.
We went for a short trek in the afternoon on a trail behind the hotel, rising from about 1450m a.s.l. to 1650m a.s.l. at Seppec in about 1⅟₂ hours, taking in some beautiful views on the way. There were a few wooden houses there. They were apparently resting places for cowherds when they bring their cattle there to graze.
Back in the village, we spent the rest of the afternoon taking a leisurely stroll along the so-called Route du Vieux Village, which actually allowed us to look at some old wooden buildings. I was particularly fascinated by several buildings that were supported by rows of short stilts each capped with a stone slab. The buildings had no windows, the only door was shut tight and there were no steps in front of the door for access. We learnt from a villager that those buildings were stores for grains and maize, and the stone caps over the stilts were placed there to prevent rats from getting into the buildings.
The villagers really put in some serious effort to make their houses attractive. Pots of flowers hung on corridors, balconies and window sills turned the houses into a riot of colours. Small plots of land among the houses were planted with vegetables and flowers.
During our aimless wander, we came across a few villagers in bright traditional costumes. They had just come back from attending a festival in an adjacent village.
Situated in a valley with a river flowing by, Les Hauderes was a very charming village indeed.