My experiences with thru-hiking

All Kinds Of Hikers

Posted in Hiking GR5, 1500 miles across Europe by onefootatatime on August 28, 2009


Jul 22 2009

July 22 2009

Had breakfast with the family from Manchester (or near Manchester, I should say). The five of us hit the trail and I walked with them for a while before picking up the pace. I was glad the trail kept out of the harsh rays of the sun, and enjoyed the walk among the trees. I had an eight-hour walk to the Refuge De Chesery (where the GR5 creeps back into Switzerland for a few hours) and I didn’t want the sun trying to melt me down. Not a good feeling. Bumped into an old French couple. They’ve hiked in the Pyrenees and suggested I should hike there next time. The trail kept going up and up (guess that’s how it’s going to be) and reached a col. Saw another couple hauling ass down the hill, and as I looked around I figured out why. There were dark clouds coming our way. I pressed on to a cowshed, where I quickly put my rain jacket on and covered my backpack. I had no computer to worry about now, and I walked in the rain. The winds were pretty wicked, almost blowing me off the trail. There were a couple of times I had to stop walking and just stand still until the wind died down a bit. When you walk along a sharp drop, you subconsciously look out for trees or shrubs below you to break your fall. It’s a survival instinct. If you don’t, well, you should. You never know. Falling with a heavy backpack is not a good idea.

Finally reached the Refuge De Chesery. Asked the lady if I could camp on the property and she pointed to a spot near a stream and said I could camp there for free. Paid a small amount to use the showers, washed my clothes and used the money I saved towards a nice dinner. Noticed a donkey next to the refuge, and learned that couple staying there was hiking the GR5 with the donkey. The donkey carries all their stuff. Now why didn’t think of that! I’d have company too.


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