DAY 25, ST. ANTOINE CHAPEL to NICE (airport)
Ascent: 1029 m
Descent: 1618 m
Distance: 40 km
Time on trail: 4:30 – 15:30+
The night went all wrong. It was too hot to be inside of my sleeping bag but fierce mosquitos took any chance they had to suck my blood. Hours passed by slowly.
At 4am I got fed up and packed my stuff. In half an hour I was on the move, walking carefully with the light of my headtorch along the path of loose stones. The red moon was disappearing behind the mountain line and the morning began finally to reveal itself.
I passed by villages and hills before I began to see the sea more and more. As a final test the sun tried to scorch me making the midday insanely hot.
There it was, lying just beneath me, the legendary Nice, where many trails and stories end and begin. I had done it and connected the dots; in 2009 I had walked through the Swiss Alps finishing the hike to Lake Geneva, in 2011 I had began the GR20 from Nice and now I had walked the trail between. It was time to raise the hands in the air!
As my airline charged me extra 40eur for the walking poles, I couln’t take them back home anymore. Instead, I left them leaning to a tree where the trail finishes and street walking begins. It was funny how I felt so sad leaving the loyal companions behind. I hope someone in the need will find them.
Smile on my face I went straight down to the heart of a big city and tried to navigate my way to the shore. I can’t really express the feeling when there was no more to walk, just a blue flat horizon. After a while I went to swim and tried to wash myself after a sweaty day.
It was late afternoon and I still wanted to walk until the airport. I followed the sea side boulevard about 6 km before reaching the terminal. I cooked outside the rest of my food before going inside to sleep the last nigth on the hard terminal floor. My flight would leave home the following morning, after an unforgettable one month adventure.
Big thanks to everyone for your support before, during and after the hike! I will write some general thoughts about the GR5 after Xmas but now it’s time to wish Happy Holidays to all of you!