Day 8: Near La Moulin

Day 8 - At the First Col The trail runners got up at 5 am trying not to wake me up and in 5 minutes were gone.  I got up at 6 am and at 6:20 left the refuge.  In about 30 minutes I saw a guy having his breakfast in front of an abandoned mountain shed.  I had a brief conversation with him yesterday on the trail.  Today we talked more and were bumping into each other several times today. 

Day 8 His name is William, he is French and attends Lausanne University in Switzerland.  He is doing the GR5 and started on the same day and at the same place as I did.  He sleeps in his tent.  Today we walked together the last 30 minutes before getting to the refuge were we both planned to stay.  And it turned out that the refuge was closed for reconstruction. 

Day 8 - Refuge Closed It was a long day.  At this point I had more than 12 hours of hiking.  First it was a very high col.  Then descent from 2500 m (col) to 700 m (valley).  Then back up onto the new mountain massif. The last two hours it was raining really hard.  William asked some local guy if there is anything else nearby to stay for the night.  So the guy made some calls and I walked 20 minutes back down the road and was met by a lady who drove from her home to give me the key from a room in gite d’etape - another experience in French accommodations.  There are 3 beds in the room without the sheets, but blankets are provided.  There are shared bathrooms and showers.  Pretty much like refuges except no communal dinner for me tonight.  I had some dry fruit and nuts in the backpack - and that's what was for dinner.