Hiking the GR5 from St Gingolph to Menton

15 days. 600 kilometres. A hike across the Alps from Lake Geneva to the Mediterranean in July 2012.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Day 12 - Auron to Rimplas

Distance: 41km, Ascent: 2320m, Descent: 2890m, Time: 12h00m
GR5 - Day 12
Because there were no options for breakfast, Day 12 began super-early leaving Hotel L'Oustalet at 5:43am.  However my best endeavours at stealing a march were stymied by the complete absence of markings for continuing the GR5, so I spent an infuriating hour or so trying to figure out how to escape this ruinated hell hole of piste tracks, VTT trails, golf ranges and uplift paraphernalia.

It was with some relief that I finally found the GR5 again, and turned my back on this awful place. I was glad that I hadn't attempted to continue to Roya the previous evening, since there's no way I would have made it during daylight hours.

After Roya, the trail entered some more dramatic wilderness landscape leading gradually to Col de Crousette 2480m. After the col the trail continued to climb as far as a kind of old trig point La Stele Valette, offering a very fine view.

From here the trail became quite dry and barren for a while, crossing a kind of shaley moonscape.

The hike to Refuge de Longon was longer than I was expecting, and I decided to take a break for a few minutes at the refuge to get out of the sun, and to buy a soft drink.

The next section from Longon to Roure also went on a bit longer than I was expecting with rather a lot of forestry roads.  The descent from Roure to St Sauveur sur Tinee took me right back down to the Tinee valley again. The town of St Sauveur was extremely underwhelming. Just one main street with not a single shop that was open. So my hopes of picking up a quick snack were dashed.

Despite feeling extremely weary, I decided to just carry on up the other side of the valley towards Rimplas. I wasn't at all sure where I'd find somewhere to stay and just before reaching Rimplas I got caught in a heavy cold shower.  At Rimplas there was a tiny almost deserted-looking hotel, so I enquired and took a room.

I had a very quiet meal (on my own) and an early night.

View GR5 - Stage 12 in a larger map

Stage 12 - Auron to Rimplas

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