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