|GR5 - Day 10|
Day 10, I crept downstairs to a flask and breakfast picnic at Les Baladins Gite, before departing at 5:51am. It was still dark, and fairly cold and rainy. The first section to Pied du Melezet was along the road, but then trail turned sharply uphill with zig-zags into the forest. This next section of trail to Col Girardin, 2706m passed through a fantastic landscape with rocky peaks and mountain lakes, in the heart of the Parc Naturel Regional du Queyras.
Below Col Girardin the trail dropped to a road at La Barge, where I found a drinking fountain before embarking on a very long and unavoidable stretch of road. Shortly after leaving the main road, I crossed the incredible and rather terrifying Pont Chatelet spanning the Ubaye River some 108 metres below. This bridge holds the accolade of highest "height to span" ratio of any bridge in the world.
Having crept across this bridge and survived the road tunnels, the trail cut away from the road to reach Fouillouse where I stopped for some lunch of fried potatoes and bottle of coke. I suddenly then remembered that Andy Murray was playing Federer in the final at Wimbledon, starting very soon, and therefore if I got a move on, I might be able to see the end of the match at Larche. So, I pressed the pace over Col du Vallonnet and Col de Mallemort, before putting in a fast descent to Larche, only to discover there was no bar or hotel in the village showing any live sports. Postscript: Luckily it was only a month or so later that I was able to watch Murray beating Federer in Olympic final on Wimbledon Centre Court.
Anyhow, it was slightly annoying at the time, but at least I had a good long recovery afternoon and evening, and a social meal with 3 Dutch hikers, who had been trekking the GR5 right from the Hoek of Holland in sections over many years.
View GR5 - Stage 10 in a larger map
|Stage 10 - Ceillac to Larche|