GR5 Day 17 - Prevailing Winds
When someone hands you a cup of coffee and asks ' what's the difference between a cricket and a grasshopper and you answer ... One of them plays sport you know it's going to be a good day.
Fortunately as we had done so much of today's walk last night we had a relatively easy day walking wise. We summited the first col and were suddenly pounced on by 4 huge and I mean huge sheepdogs, with great big nasty teeth ... Thankfully the Shepard was also at the top.
Jac nearly passed out with fright as she is used to our ankle biter and not some large slobbering mutt, present company excluded.
I think he was as surprised to see two hikers up that early as we were to see him. We chatted for a few minutes as thankfully his English was excellent, it would have been a much shorter conversation with my limited French and I think he would have wondered why I kept asking for pain aux raisins.
He told us he has to stay up on the mountains for 4 months in the summer with just his dogs and 800 sheep for company, (they were Herdy cute Carol ;-o) he said it was very lonely, and you could feel an air of sadness around him.
We told him about the strange noise in the woods, he said it might have been a wolf ... Wtf ... But more likely a wild pig, but not to worry about them it's the snakes that were the problem ... Good to know since we spend so much time in the grass.
I offered him some sweets, but he refused, maybe he had been warned off about accepting sweets off strange women.
At the summit of the second col we met a mountain biker with his bike on his back, see it's not just long distance trekkers that are nuts, people carry bikes up mountains for fun, at least we had a house and food on our backs.
We arrived in Montgenvera in time for a second breakfast, so as per normal we stop at the first boulongerie we can find. I go in and recite my well practiced French
"Bonjour Monsieur, un almond croissant, un pain aux raisin, du cafe au lait, sil vous plait".
This has worked like clockwork, and trust me we have eaten some pastry, but today for some reason I came out with 3 almond croissants and a lot less change than there should have been ... So either something went very badly wrong in translation or I was an opportunity to make some extra cash, and I look like I need fattening up .... Yeah right .. Anyway they were delicious ...
all 3 of them!
So heavier in belly and lighter in pocket we carried on our forested descent to Briancon, eventually to arrive at the walled city and our luxurious accommodation for the next two nights.
We have made full and I mean full use of the facilities, I have washed myself, my pants, my socks, my hair. We have used the 2 packets of shampoo, 2 packets of soap and all the towels. We have sat on a toilet amazed at the lack of grass tickling our asses.
Tonight we are feasting upon real food and cold, cold beer Nothing has been boiled rehydrated or served in a packet. We hope!
Prevailing wind - if this gets past censorship I will be amazed ...
Now we know from earlier blogs that couscous makes Gandalf windy, well it appears it's not just couscous but in fact anything that passes her lips. No foods as yet seem to be providing silence, which makes for a very noisy walking experience and is not helping with wildlife spotting. As time has gone on shall we say things have also become much more fragrant.
You may have also noticed that we have a few tiffs about my speed descending mountain passes. One reason is gravity and the baps ( on the rucksack people ! ) but the other is well, it's quite frankly the safest place to be...
We have walked approx 258 miles of pretty tough going alpine paths so a days rest is needed.