Last day. Mountain drive up some more interesting roads with either no barrier or such a small one that it seems pointless. To Col de Lobe then Rocca Sparviera mediaeval village and chapel. Saw lots of wolf droppings also those of wild boar. The wolf had been eating the boar as some droppings were mainly boar hair. Golden eagle. We wore the ice grippers for a bit. It had been hot when we did this walk last year, this time started off in 3 layers and increased to 5. We walked about 15km.
Back down to the bar in Lantosque for St. Thomas beer. Then home to pack up.
Dinner chez Liz and Mel. Chili popcorn, tomato and mozzarella type cheese called burrata and basil, couscous with veg and meatballs in sauce, cheeses, chocolate and ginger mousse. All excellent.
We collected Suzanne and David and the bread from St. Martin. Drove to La Colmiane and parked a short way from the centre. It was amazingly cold, Mel reckoned -10 with wind chill. We walked for a good way until we reached the remains of an avalanche and then turned back as it was not safe to continue.
We had our usual fine lunch of salads and bread and tomatoes.
Back to the van and on to Rimplas. There is a Maginot line fort here. Up above the village quite a way. Bridget and I had walked this path last year. Back down and to Serena cafe in La Colmiane for the very seriously good hot chocolate.
Dinner: cheese straws, soufflé, butter beans in tomato sauce with salad and bread, tiramisu.
We picked up David and Suzanne in St. Martin. Up to Le Boreon. Onto snow shoes and then up and up for 500m of ascent.
The refuge was open this time so we sat inside to eat our lunch. Salads, nuts, bread, ham, cheese. All lovely. We got drinks but my hot chocolate was horrible. The coffees also looked a bit lumpy.
A lovely day with good weather. Back down to St. Martin. Into the Pirate cafe! Nice hot chocolate and a biere de Conte, also very good, nearly as nice as my home made lager!
Bought biscuits for my friends at work, Julie don’t tell the boys!
Dinner: beetroot with feta cheese, celeriac soup, very hot noodles, we all went red, had to open the door, blue cheese and fab home made oatcakes, so good I’ll be having a go, they were quite thick and very tasty.
Slept badly, too hot. We’re turning the heaters down. Breakfast and then out by 9. To St. Martin then Valdeblore then the Tinee valley. Up a scary road to Roya, the sort of road you don’t want to meet anything coming down. So we met the snow plough. Luckily just at a slightly wider section. Mel is also a very good driver.
Started off from Roya village at 1500m on snow shoes but soon took them off and put on Pogu ice grippers, these were perfect for the conditions. Walked up through the forest.
Beautiful walk in the sun. Snow mostly nice and firm. I managed to lose a walking pole to the mountain.
Lunch of bread, pasta salad, olives at about 1850m.
Returned the same way. Stopped at La Colmiane for beers and hot chocolates.
Thick fog and graupel.
Dinner: sort of samosa things with balsamic sauce, big roasted cheese, tagliatelle with creamy walnut sauce, pastries with honey and nuts. Liz is a fabulous cook.
Out by 9. Through Belvedere to the Gordolasque valley. Parked at 1600m and snow shoed up to nearly 2000m. Cold and hot and sunny and windy. Our party is Bridget who was here last year, Mike from Herefordshire, Henk and Margreet from near Rotterdam and Mel of course.
Room warm with extra heater. Slept well. Woke in night and thought about putting my hat on. Croissant, coffee, toast.
To St. Martin Vesubie in the rain. Bimbled about and then coffee in the cafe. To St. Dalmas. We walked in the Black Forest without snow shoes for a couple of hours. Mostly it rained. Lunch in a nice shed with seats. Potato salad with nuts, baba ganoush, cheese, bread. Hot grape juice.
St. Dalmas is home to a very old Templar church.
Back to mulled wine and pretzels.
Dinner: pea pate, yum and bread, chestnut soup, pumpkin pie with salad and roast potatoes, ginger cake trifle with meringue. Yum yum.
The power cut. I went outside, the whole valley in darkness, my eyes adjusted quickly, owl hooting, just fab.
An early start, up at 3 to drive to Liverpool airport. Don’t do Skypark unless you want to be ripped off for another £6 to get you in a minibus to the airport when you could have walked it in 5 mins.
Met up with Bridget in Starbucks. Our coffee took 20 mins to arrive.
Smooth flight to Nice. Mel picked us up with Mike. Then to BlB. Lovely to see Liz and Mel again. Lunch of soup, cold collation, Baba ganoush, beer. Henk and Margreet arrived. Went for walk round village with Bridget. Back to gite, a bit chilly but heaters up full.
Dinner: Pakoras to start, scrambled egg with truffle, daube with red cabbage, polenta, fennel, cheese, fruit with vodka sauce. Wine.