GR5 Day 21 - Oeuf That Was Expensive
Col Girardin - Col de Mallemort
There is nothing like a 600 metre descent and a walk along a ledge to wake you up, if you throw in some scratchy thistles and some particularly sharp pointy bushes then you have the ideal early morning wake up call.
Personally I would have preferred a nice coffee and maybe a pain aux raisin but we are a long way from civilisation and the marmites are crap baristas.
So after our vertical descent we landed on a strange substance, it was smooth, it was solid, it was nearly level, it was road ... We have not walked upon this magical surface for many weeks and it felt good, if I could have guaranteed I could get up again I would have bent down and kissed it like the pope.
We had about 3 hours walking on the smooth black stuff. As it was so wonderful on the feet we even added a cheeky detour to get us into the village of Fouillouse, the GR5 diverted of the road and climbed very high and then dropped very suddenly to the same village, so we stuck to the flat stuff and by doing so saved ourselves 50 mins and a lot of leg ache.
We decided to celebrate our good fortune by purchasing a protein packed lunch in the one restaurant in the village. Now 10 euros for a mushroom omelette was a bit steep but after I had stopped twitching at the price we ordered 2 ...... Well I kid you not it was not two it was just the one omelette but sliced in half. The local specialty mushrooms that it promised were I am assuming magic as they had all but disappeared, and as Jac kept repeating it wasn't an omelette as there was no fluff. It was just eggs in a pan that had been left and there was even some egg shell, though I did think this at least gave it some body.
It was the worst omelette ever, and a lesson to us to learn the language so we could have sent it back.
Instead it cost 26 bloody euros for some runny egg and 2 cokes.
With our lunchtime disappointment over we set off again in the 44 degree heat, it was that hot Jac even put her cap on, it has been languishing in the rucksack for weeks, as apparently she things she looks like a hillbilly wearing it. I pointed out if anyone looked special it was going to be me as I have taken to wearing mine backwards to protect my neck from burning and that her bright red forehead and nose were making her have the appearance of an alcoholic so a bit of cap wearing was probably a good thing.
It is definitely more med than Alps now, the heat for one thing, but the mountains are more limestone and the paths are a lot dustier, there are more sheep and goats and less cows, and so many grasshoppers.
Tonight we found the perfect wild camp,
it was crown green flat, but it felt a bit odd, so we moved on, there was a few dead sheep and lots of sheep poop around. Just as we shifted we heard the Shepherd bringing the sheep over the Col so it could have become very crowded in the perfect spot. Don't get me wrong I like sheep just not in my tent.
Stuff you should do:
Always look around the corner
You may find that there is a handy bench, when you have been sitting in the gravel.
You may find that there is a handy water source and there was no need for you to lug 4 litres in your baps up and over a Col.
Walk through the village as you may find a little shop who will be selling expensive but much more edible things than an omelette, things like magnum ice creams, chocolate biscuits, and a loaf of bread mmmmm.
You may find a much better camp spot in full sun for many hours with lots less sheep and poop.
Because of our road walk we have seen many lizards that move very quickly. We have also seen many squished lizards that moved to slowly.
Marmites - lots of them shrieking away.
Sheepdogs, several but one in particular spotted Jac and headed her way at a rate of knots, I knew she was freaked as the prevailing wind started again .