GR5 Day 31 - Do You See the Sea?
Sospel - Castaller
So this is it, this is the last day .... 420 miles walking up many mountains. Across the Alps in fact and if we had descended the remaining 721 metres it would be over.
Instead we have decided to have one last wild camp up above the streets below, we have been waiting for a glimpse of the Mediterranean all day. By all accounts it's there, I don't think it's moved, according to the guide book it should have been visible hours ago. Gaps between trees and cols should have given us a cheeky peek of the azure sea. Alas nope, not a snifter, there was a moment when for a split second we thought is it sea but then it went before positive identification could take place.
The problem you see is the cloud and to see the sea we need the cloud to shift, but as we are quite literally "in the cloud " (Jac is very excited) it's not going anywhere and we have walked a long sodding way for this view, so I'm not shifting till the morning.
Cloud if anyone ever wondered, is quite damp it's also quite like fog which I guess it is, but as its higher it's cloud and were are certainly in it.
I can't really tell you much about what we saw on the walk today, there was a lot of up, a lot of that was through forest which was mainly green and foggy, when we got to some flat bits they were also foggy but with some shapes of trees and occasionally we saw the shapes of mountains.
It was a little like walking in a steam room, the temperature is about 28c so yep steam room describes it perfectly, however I have never walked in one with a backpack.
Weight loss today despite the 2 pastries each for breakfast (thank you Sospel for providing such an outstanding boulongerie) will be significant, due to heat, steam , 4 litres of water carried up for wild camp with promised amazing views, and a litre of port to celebrate our amazing achievement.
So tonight we sit listening to the sounds below, there is a lot of traffic noise so I guess a big road, we have heard a couple of dogs barking, no seagulls yet and I can't hear lapping waves.
Our view changes with density of the cloud and we are pitched just below a ruined house, with lots of burnt trees, it's atmospheric In a spooky way and I'm trying not to think of horror movies ... Dam.
So maybe the sun will come out tomorrow , tomorrow I love ya tomorrow your only a day a way ...
So our plan to hang out in the mountains one more night, worked as about 9 pm the cloud lifted for 30 mins. Below us was the glistening lights of Menton reflected in the sea. It was a magical moment and as we had consumed the majority of the 1 litre of port, it also had that happy alcoholic tinge to it.
Things not to do:
Carry 4 litres of water up a mountain to find out halfway up there is a water source - this will make you very annoyed.
Imagine how something will be.
Never rely on your imagination for how things should be, it will always be different to what you thought, you will always feel different to how you thought you would, best let the moment be what it will and enjoy it for what it is. Sorry that's the port talking.
Trekking pole styles:
I have walked for some part of the last month behind Jac, she is a much better pace setter than me. I am prone to scampering off and getting lost where as she is reliable and just keeps going at a good pace. Also she knows her left from her right - this is helpful when navigating. Jac I have noted, has many trekking pole styles, where I have just the one. Arms tucked in, poles together and go.
Jac style number 1 -Swimming
This is where she places poles in front and then performs breast stroke arm action (this style is mainly seen on flat sections where her mind wanders, I know her mind is doing something like traaaadedaaaa ) she is in a happy place.
Style number 2 -Tightrope walker
This involves placing poles down in front as normal and then on the lift stroke both poles go at right angles to her body so she creates this no one is getting past me look, and no one (me) can get past. This is her getting naffed of with (me) wanting to overtake.
Style number 3 - Back off matey
This style is normally deployed after style 2 has failed. Poles are placed down as normal but then are thrust straight out backwards. I am wary of this style as it hurts, and normally I back off.
Style number 4 - Over arm bowler
This style is seen in areas of high pesky vegetation. Poles are placed down as normal, but upstroke results in arm flinging pole high into air and the down again. Style is used to get over offending plants, brambles or other walkers.
Style number 5 - I'm distracted style .
Poles are placed down as normal, but oh wait look at that pretty GR5 sign, or oh look at that pretty flower I must take a picture. Unclip phone and use but then drag poles on ground for many many meters whilst getting phone back into rightful place. This causes me no end of mental torture and the rage builds on occasions of extreme dragging till I explode and shout "will you pick those fecking poles up or stand still " imagine nails down blackboard to appreciate my pain.