August 31st
Near Col de Raus-Col du Razet
Daily Mileage: 23mi/37km
Approx Total Mileage: 388.4mi/625km
Campsite Elevation: 3386ft/1032m

It rained on and off through the night, so I was in and out of sleep all night. I was just glad the rain waited until the evening and it didn’t happen while I was walking. Everything was pretty dry with a nice breeze in the morning and the hiking was downright splendid. 

It did make me think of the Pacific Crest Trail the way it cruised with such a gradual downhill and views of mountains distantly all around. I loved the overcast skies and cooler temps. This is my kind of hiking!

This would all be green earlier in the summer.

Really, there isn’t much to add as I gradually dropped down to the larger village of Sospel in the late afternoon. There were sprinkles from time to time, but I never needed rain gear or even the umbrella. I listened to podcasts and music much of the day and just felt really relaxed physically. 

Wooded hiking when I dipped lower.

Mentally, it was a different story. It’s been awhile since I’ve had some uninterrupted time to deal with the growing list of things to do once I’m in a town, possibly at a computer, and have wifi. I really don’t like planning and dealing with logistics. Just tell me when to be and where, and I’ll happily do that, but dealing with logistics of lodging, packages, and transportation just drive me nuts. Sometimes, long distance hiking can be like a chess game or puzzle, and I often enjoy the satisfaction of things fitting into place in transitions. I’ve been very fortunate with that this summer. 

A tank from the 1940s.

Loving this!

However, this transition from the GR5 to the Walkers Haute Route (Chamonix to Zermatt), is slightly annoying me. Long story short, everything is just slightly off from how I’d like. Finishing on a weekend was not intentional, but it has made everything that I mentioned (lodging, transportation, and a package in Chamonix) just slightly…off…for lack of a better word. 

In the big picture, I’m a week ahead of schedule, so time isn’t an issue. What I haven’t mentioned that’s fun and wonderful, is that this whole summer I’ve known that my friend E (who hiked the Great Divide Trail in 2015 and Kings Canyon High Basin Route in 2016 with me, and hosted me in NZ this past year) would be out here doing the Walker’s Haute Route through Switzerland ending in Chamonix (where I will start the Haute Route). We’ve been keeping tabs on one another and are trying to land in Chamonix the same day(s). Just the fatefulness that we both are out here and able to cross paths is awesome to me. I won’t go into detail, but logistically, it’s been a bit tough to nail it just right as we both had to wait out weather fronts to be sure of our dates. It wasn’t until today that we knew for sure. Now that it is last minute and a weekend, timing isn’t ideal with the remaining options for me on many fronts, but it’s still going to work out for me to get to Chamonix and spend time with E, yay! 

I still haven’t decided exactly what I’ll do to get to Chamonix, but I spent over an hour tonight researching all the combinations and permutations for all involved because I also want to spend time in Menton (where I’ll finish tomorrow) and nearby Nice while also fitting E’s hoped schedule for her remaining days in France. Have I mentioned I hate planning??

So back to today. I got to Sospel before 4pm and grabbed a first dinner of a sandwich and four (yes I ate all four!) pudding cups. 


One last delightful village pit stop on the GR5.

I hiked out at 4pm and knew I wanted to get a couple hours closer to Menton to give me more time there tomorrow. It’s about 6hrs from Sospel to Menton for me. It was a wooded climb and I was dripping sweat with humid air. 

I stopped at Col du Razet where the guidebook mentions a view of the Mediterranean. It’s a great spot for the final night! The view is obscured mostly by trees and bushes, but I can see Menton and the Mediterranean Sea! I’ll be there by lunch tomorrow!

So close!

I got so distracted with researching the logistics that I forgot to take a picture of the tent, dang! I’ll try to remember in the morning. It’s been sprinkling lightly for the last hour. Again, I’m so glad it’s raining overnight instead of during the day. Tomorrow, the Mediterranean Sea!!!

Morning tent photo.

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