My experiences with thru-hiking

My Favorite Stretch On The Trail

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


Jul 27 2009

July 27 2009

These hikes are sure not getting any shorter or easier. Started early, because of the eight-hour day ahead of me, and found myself with a huge crowd of hikers, all of us hiking up to Col du Bonhomme. The last stretch is crazy steep and everybody, including me, is taking eencie-weencie steps up the slope. When I get to the top, everybody is on the floor taking a break and eating something or the other. I munch on some tabouli. There are two groups of hikers, both being lead by guides, a mixture of Americans, Canadians and Dutch folks. It takes us all another forty-five minutes to get to the refuge and I decide to grab some lunch there. They had a spaghetti carbonara with lots of bacon – couldn’t pass that up. I parted ways with the crowd of hikers (the point where the GR5 breaks away from the Tour Du Mont Blanc trail) and headed over the Crete De Gittes, which was by far the coolest stretch I’ve been on so far. The guide recommended not going that way if the winds were rough. A lot of the trail has been rock-chips and flaky slates, almost like rubble, so falling is really easy here. It was a scary stretch, but pretty awesome too.

Finally reached the refuge at Plan De La Lai. The building was small and thought I was not going to get a bed that night, when the guy took me to some Moroccan tents at the back of the building – really sweet digs. Each round tent holds six beds, and I shared the space with five other hikers who were doing a part of the GR5. Dinner was inside the building, a simple couscous with sausage, followed by some raspberry yogurt thingy. The place was loud with everyone talking at the same time. It was like a school cafeteria. A nice man who knew a bit of English clued me in on what people were talking about. And just like that, the weather turned from nice and sunny to a stormy night. Glad I wasn’t camping outside.


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