And the Southern part of the GR 20 does start like a dream! After making progress slowly on a very technical terrain along the Northern stretch, we are walking fast in the South on an easy, despite uphill, trail through the shady pine and beech forest.
Having to walk on flat parts feels almost awkward because we are so used to 4-digit elevation gain and loss per day. We hardly feel the 890 meters of positive elevation of today thanks to the longer distance (15 kilometres) and less technical terrain. The elevation loss of 230 metres is not even to be mentioned!
Where the trail leads us above the tree-line a splendid view opens up before a long gradual and easy downhill. A few well-maintained private bergeries (sheepfolds) are scattered along the trail before a nasty uphill takes us all the way to the so-called ski area of E’Capannelle. The lack of charm of the refuge and its location may be compensated for some by the possibility of ordering ice-creams or draft beers thanks to the road access.
Our first day in the South part of the GR 20 is clearly not the nicest stage. Between the atmosphere that is lot different than in the North where solidarity can be felt amongst hikers we came across and the landscapes that do not leave us overly impressed we are looking forward to making more progress and discovering the charm of the South.
Marcella & Claire
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