ST 9: Tiring but beautiful

We zig-zagged up the hills above Montvert, rising steadily higher. The river beside our hotel became a silver ribbon in the morning light, then shrank to a thread, until finally we were so high it was invisible.

And there was more height to be gained. The problem isn’t really height, it’s how you get up it. In this case after the zig-zags above the village we went up a track that was clearly designed for low-greared vehicles as it entirely ignored the contours and just went straight, endlessly up.

Above the tree-line the views were again amazing – a sea of green with lines of purple hills in the distance. And from there it was a steady downhill. We have crossed over into technical southern France and there’s a subtle difference in the trees and the feel of the landscape.

After a path-side picnic lunch we attacked the last 10km which proved quite tiring in temperatures pushing 30 degrees. Our New Zealand friends persuaded us to take a shortcut which was probably a worse path, but shaved a few kilometers off our total. We still covered over 25km today with an elevation gain of 885m.

We again saw the same donkey, although we got up close with it, so the donkey count remains at 2.

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