Wednesday, 3 October 2018

GR5 Storms and Supplies

Six days out from Briançon and storms and food supplies have dominated the walk. After two days I had what will probably be the finest camp of the trip on the edge of the forest looking towards the dramatic twin summits of the Pointe de la Selle. The night was starry with a bright half moon and I was up for an hour taking pictures. I'll be interested to see how those turn out when I get home. By dawn a frost covered the ground, the first of the walk. The clear skies didn't signal continuing good weather however.

During the day clouds built up and the wind became ferocious. I crossed two high cols and was nearly blown off my feet. I camped in woods down in the valley as lightning flashed all around and thunder crashed and roared. Torrential rain hammered on my shelter.

By first light the rain had stopped. The air was misty and damp. As the clouds rose I could see fresh snow high above and was glad I'd camped in the valley. I was down in the woods again the next night after a day of bitter winds and spits of snow and hail.

The day had solved a food shortage though. I'd left Briançon with just about three days supplies. I knew the refuges would all be shut now but I hadn't expected whole villages to be so too. Brunnisard, Chateau Queyras, Ceillac, Larche. No restaurants, hotels, shops open. Then in the tiny hamlet of Fouillouse a little epicerie said ouvert. It was a joyous moment! In the three days since then everywhere has been closed until here at St Etienne de Tinee where I've resupplied for the last four or five days to Nice and the Mediterranean.


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