GR5 – DAY18, to FOUILLOUSE

DAY 18, CEILLAC to FOUILLOUSE

Ascent: 1496 m

Descent: 1195 m

Distance: 26 km

Time on trail: 6:20 – 16:00

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I began the fifth stage uncertain of where to stay the next night. I would not see any campsites so most likely I needed to wild camp at the end of the day.

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I followed the river in the valley floor before climbing through another magical forest up to Lac Miroir (2214m).

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The lake was equal to its name and mirrored the surrounding peaks beautifully. A perfect spot for breakfast.

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After an hour and half I reached another lake, Lac Ste Anne (2415m), two hundred meters higher.

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One hour of climbing more and zigzagging steeply up a slope of friable scree and I was at the Col Girardin (2706m). The mountain views were magnificient and the air was still and nicely warm. I stayed a long time at the col, almost falling asleep, being deeply in the moment itself, before I realized I needed to keep going. I had still a long day ahead. Unfortunately no sight of the Flying Dutchman I had hoped to meet on this day too.

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A path junction where a narrow path departed to La Barge along the mountainside. From tiny hamlet of La Barge (1875m) began a long, almost two hour road walk towards Fouillouse junction. If it was nicely warm up at the col, down in the valley the air was still and almost unbearably hot.

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The road walk got me complitely exhausted and from the junction one had to still climb another 300 vertical meters to reach the village of Fouillouse. For the first time I was really low on energy. My legs were heavy and I had to rest almost every five minutes. The last ascent seemed to last forever. The voice of Rocky was repeating in my mind: “..keep moving forward, how much you can take and KEEP MOVING FORWARD!” and as funny it might sound it gave me energy to fight myself up the hill.

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I set my tent a bit further from the village, out of sight. It was perfect and quiet spot although I had again, for the third night in a row, annoying problem with the flies. They were just everywhere and I began to wonder what’s wrong with this area of the Alps?

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