Larche to Bousieyas

We wanted to get going as early as we could today as this was to be a long day, it was going to be hot and thunderstorms were forecast for the afternoon. We had ordered croissants for breakfast and some bread to take for lunch, but it wasn’t going to be ready until 7am, so we were all ready by then, picked it up, and ate croissants as we walked.

An hour up a minor road brought us into Val Fourane,

where the scenery was impressive, the walking was easy and there were lots of marmots.

A steeper section brought us to the Lac du Lauzanier.

Looking back at the mountains we had crossed coming from Italy

The next objective was Pas de la Cavale. After a steep slabby ascent from the lake, it came into view, looking particularly unapproachable. But a way emerged- steeply up to the left and then the col was reached by a long traverse on scree. A reasonable path made it as painless as crossing scree can be- still hard work though.

When the col was reached it didn’t seem to be a col at all, but rather a dead end.

But there was a way, which involved teetering along ledges. Looking back from below, it was impossible to work out where the path had gone.

Looking back at Pas de la Cavale.

Once in grassier terrain we could have some lunch and we spotted a bouquetin.

This was to be a 2 col day and we had another climb ahead of us- to the Col des Fourches . Our legs resented having to go uphill again, but the chaos of grasshoppers and butterflies at each step was fun.

Soon after the grassy col we had to cross a road, which was going up to the col de la Bonette, the highest road pass in Western Europe.

Our route down was fairly direct which is more than can be said for the road.

We passed a ruined 19th Century barracks…

…and arrived at Bousieyas (Judith tells me it is pronounced ‘boozy arse’ but I don’t think that can be right) just in time to avoid a thunder storm.

We appear to be staying in a Buddhist refuge.

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