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.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Day 11 - Larche to Auron

Distance: 40km, Ascent: 2325m, Descent: 2400m, Time: 11h25m
GR5 - Day 11
Day 11, I quietly crept away from the Refuge de Larche at 5:47am and was acutely aware that this time exactly 6 months ago my son Benjamin had just come into the world. It seemed strange to think back to a time so recent, that felt so long ago.

After a few kilometres of road the GR5 turned into the Val Fourane which very gradually lead into an impressive landscape of rocks and lakes, and onwards and upwards to the Pas de la Cavale, 2671m, a very fine airy col dropping away steeply to the south into the Maritime Alpes.

The descent had another slight climb over Col des Fourches, before dropping down steeply through road hairpins to the hamlet of Bousieyas.  It was now getting pretty warm for the hike to St Dalmas le Selvage over the Col de la Colombiere. At St Dalmas I stopped for a few minutes in a bar to get an ice cream and coke, and to get out of the strong sun.

Then back out into the heat to cross Col d'Anelle and drop down to St Etienne de Tinee set deep in the steep-sided Tinee valley that runs all the way to Nice.

I didn't have a particularly good feeling about where I would end up this evening, since there were no obvious gites or refuges to aim for, or at least the gite at Roya was probably out of range.

So instead I made it as far as the rather grim modern ski resort of Auron, after being on the go for about 11 and half hours. The choices of accommodation were not too inspiring, but I found a very quiet and clean enough Hotel Igloo or Hotel l'Oustalet. I didn't have the energy or enthusiasm to go out for a meal, so just grabbed a few things from the supermarket, and had an early night.

View GR5 - Stage 11 in a larger map

Stage 11 - Larche to Auron

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