DAY 21, BOUSIEYAS to AURON
Ascent: 1265 m
Descent: 1535 m
Distance: 26 km
Time on trail: 6:00 – 14:30
I left Bousieyas very early in the morning. While climbing towards the first pass of the day, Col de Colombiere (2237m), I had my first real encounter with the pastous, the famous sheepdogs. I was walking along a narrow forest road, sheeps inside a fence on an upper hand slope, when I saw two black dogs in a road curve in front of me. There was no other way but to keep walking along the road. So, younger of the dogs, which looked like a big size terrier, came barking towards and parked itself in front of me. I stood still letting it get used to me, but it just kept barking and barking. The whole valley was echoing.
After a while I tried to move, the dog got angrier and tried to block my way. I pushed myself carefully step by step forward. When reaching the curve, the older dog joined the circus and started to bark as well. Now I was surrounded by the two dogs. I was sure I was going to die within seconds. But after the road curve and their initial guard spot they stayed more and more behind and I was finally free to keep going.
Damn it was scary.
In the village of St. Dalmas le Sevage I smelled a tempting smell of freshly baked bread but unfortunately I couldn’t find any bakery or store.
While climbing towards Col d’Anelle (1739m) dark clouds started to gather. Then I got the Vallée de la Tinee and the village of St. Etienne de Tinée in sight. I lost the trail when descending to the village but nevertheless I found my way through it. Behind the village began the final ascent of the day to the ski resort of Auron.
Before reaching Auron it started to rain seriously. I stayed almost two hours in front of the local movie theater and waited the rain to cease. Then I went to the campsite and bought SOME supplies from the village store:
This was the end of the Stage 5, so only the last one to go. Feeling great and excited although it would be very tough last four days. There was still 132km (82 miles) in total to the airport of Nice and the terrain wasn’t getting much easier either if thinking the amount of climbing per day. Also the weather was becoming hotter all the time.