Day 16 GR5 Aiguilles to Ceillac

I (or more precisely the hotel owner) arranged for a taxi to pick me up at 8.30 and to drop me up off at Cháteau Queyras to resume my perambulations on the GR5.

My left knee still had twinges of pain so I breakfasted on Nurofen super strength pills and vowed to take it easy and stick to the track!

The cheese mountain (Col Fromage) starts of steep but is well marked and soon turns into a nice easy ascent of just over 3000ft the knee behaved itself and the weather was kind too (although I must get another hat if it starts getting sunny – lost the last one somewhere). Looking back across the valley I could see the full extent of yesterdays disasters – I must have been mad. Check out Googleearth to see the crags and slopes i was trying to turn into a shortcut!

The Cheese Col has a false top so I thought I was on my way down when I met a party of walkers, on their way up. They recgonised me from last night at the hotel (they were doing bits of the GR58 which apparently takes in 8 countries of the Alps from Slovenia to France see www.via-alpina.org) they dutifully informed me the Col was still to come!

I made it to Ceillac in fine form at 1.15pm AND DECIDED to stay 🙂 .

I’m now a couple of days ahead of myself so hopefully will get a flight a week on Thursday 28 Sept. and be back in time for the CRUFC lunch on Saturday and maybe a drink at The Pig on Friday night.

Sent from Geoff’s Treo650

Day 15 GR5 Montgen?vre to Ch?teau Queyras

This was a very long day. I ended up walking over 23 miles and 4000ft of ascent in over 10 hours out on the trail.

Started off with the descent into Briançon making me thankful I hadnt attempted it the previous night as it took nearly 2 hours and i guess it would have taken ages to find a hotel. Its quite a fascinating place with heavy fortifications and impressive citadels perched high on the mountains. I stocked up with cheese, fruit, bread and the essential mars bars at Shopi, who dont seem to be doing free plastic bags anymore.

Proceeded to make the mistake of trying to walk up the Ayes gorge along a path which petered out to nothing, once I had scrambled around a couple of car wrecks I reliazed there must be a road up there! Crawled up the mossy gorge side to find the track was more of a racetrack for proud dads and there kids in 4x4s on their way to Chalets des Ayes (so many I thought it must be a town). At 4pm I eventually arrived at Brunissard where I should have stayed! But I continued on to Cháteau Queyras compounding my stupidty by trying to contour around the mountain through thick woods and the most horrendous scree slope ever (a good thousand feet drop – and perfectly smooth). My left knee then decided it was time to pack up….

I arrived at Queyras at 6.30pm to find a ghost village. Eventually I discovered a returning family who told me the nearest hotel was at Aiguilles. The look of horror on my face when I was told it was over 10km away, must have won the day as she offered to drive me there. So full marks to Sophies mum and the Hotel Bellevue for saving the day….

Sent from Geoff’s Treo650

Day 15 GR5 Montgen?vre to Ch?teau Queyras

This was a very long day. I ended up walking over 23 miles and 4000ft of ascent in over 10 hours out on the trail.

Started off with the descent into Briançon making me thankful I hadnt attempted it the previous night as it took nearly 2 hours and i guess it would have taken ages to find a hotel. Its quite a fascinating place with heavy fortifications and impressive citadels perched high on the mountains.
I stocked up with cheese, fruit, bread and the essential mars bars. At Shopi who dont seem to be doing free plastic bags anymore.

Proceeded to make the mistake of trying to walk up the Ayes gorge along a path which petered out to nothing, once i had scrambled around a couple of car wrecks I reliazed there must be a road up there! Crawled up the mossy gorge side to find the track was more of a racetrack for proud dads and there kids in 4x4s on their way to Chalets des Ayes (so many I thought it must be a town). At 4pm I eventually arrived at Brunissard where I should have stayed! But I continued on to Cháteau Queyras compounding my stupidty by trying to contour around the mountain through thick woods and the most horrendous scree slope ever (a good thousand feet drop – and perfectly smooth). My left knee then decided it was time to pack up….

I arrived at Queyras at 6.30pm to find a ghost village. Eventually I discovered a returning family who told me the nearest hotel was at Aiguilles. The look of horror on my face when she said it was over 10km away, must have won the day as she offered to drive me there. So full marks to Sophies mum and the Hotel Bellevue for saving the day.

Sent from Geoff’s Treo650 on 07971428715