Roya to Roubion

After supper last night, rather surprisingly, we were all taken to the church by the refuge guardian who gave us a quite a long and largely (to me anyway) incomprehensible lecture about the fixtures and fittings and paintings.

The church with an apparently brand new roof.

Then it was bed time. My enthusiasm for sleeping on the top bunk of a bunk bed peaked at about the age of 8 and has been going down ever since, particularly if a very low ceiling means that getting into bed is bit like posting a letter, but a lot less elegant than that image suggests. To add to the problem forward momentum into bed required a bit of leg flailing, but the proximity of other bunks meant that too vigorous a flail could have serious consequences.

Today presented a bit of a problem. The obvious thing to do was to walk as far as the refuge du Longon, but unfortunately the refuge is closed this year, so alternative arrangements had to be made. Our solution was to walk nearly to the refuge and then descend to Roubion, where we had booked a bed and breakfast. It made for quite a long day, but without a tent, I think it was the shortest option. People with tents have the added difficulty of a serious shortage of water, with most streams being dry.

The first part of the day was a long climb to the Col de Croisette, a little more than 1000m of ascent (or one Scafell Pike as we call it).

Initially we were in trees…

But quite soon we were above the tree line and it was clear we had a lot more up to do.

Quite a long way to the far ridge

The route was characterised by enormous apparently impenetrable limestone barriers

which the path found cunning ways through or round.

A rare flat bit on the ascent

At the col we were quite close to the summit of Mont Mounier, but not close enough for us to make the excursion along the narrow ridge to the summit.

The view back from near the col

The long descent on the other side was mostly pretty gentle.

Eventually, because of the closed refuge, we left the GR5 route to descend to Roubion.

It was a long walk- about 5 miles off course on top of an already quite long day, but the going was easy.

And it might turn out that it is worth the diversion to visit Roubion

Our first glimpse of Roubion

It is a 12th century village perched dramatically in the cliffs, with very steep streets.

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