GR5 – DAY17, to CEILLAC

DAY 17, BRUNISSARD to CEILLAC

Ascent: 1305 m

Descent: 1410 m

Distance: 26 km

Time on trail: 6:00 – 16:00

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Neither the flies or wild boar disturbed my sleep and I got up fresh and ready to tackle the last day of the Stage 4. A cuckoo was singing when I left the forest campsite.

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I passed by few villages before climbing through slopes of long hay. I lost the trail few times but managed to reach a nice little lake after two hours of walking. While having my morning portion of choko muesli, another hiker approached coming from the same direction. This was unusual as the morning was still very young and usually there was no other walkers at that time. I had heard rumours about the Flying Dutchman, as my guidebook nicely describes, who had been seen in the area. There was something very determined in this man and I began to wonder if I was about to meet a legend.

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Indeed, after chatting for a while I learned that this retired man had walked all the way from Netherlands and was on his way to Rome. Soon the Flying Dutchman went on his way while I was still finishing my muesli wondering: “Wow, well that’s a walk!”

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The forest before the Fort Queayras was stunning. Too bad my nose was having an allergic reaction making me constantly sneeze.

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We met with the Flying Dutchman again in the village of Château-Queyras and kept then walking together the rest of the day. It was a real pleasure to share the beautiful day together.

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We passed by a bunch of cows who were standing still and eating happily but right after us they began to move too. I hope it was not because of us.

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Admiring the towering twin peaks of Pointe de la Selle.

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The Flying Dutchman stayed at the col enjoying the peace of a high altitude as he had done the day before too (remember the photo of a man having a nap). We departed and I walked the last one hour down to the village of Ceillac and basic campsite there. I was very low on supplies and I had to make sure I would make it to the local store on time. I ended up buying 2,3 kilos of food. The next day the pack would feel heavy…

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It felt good to finish the Stage 4 in such an enjoyable way; pleasant scenery, weather and hiking companion.

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