France, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, Alpes Maritimes

Nice, St Augustin to Monaco - 27.4 km - Saturday 23rd April 2011

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Marine parade, hilly back-streets, the coast road with a pavement all the way and not too much trraffic on a wet Saturday.

Garmin Altitude Plot Garmin Mapsource Google Earth Nice at Dawn Nice at Dawn Nice on a Dull Day Nice on a Dull Day Nice on a Dull Day Nice on a Dull Day The Road to Monaco The Road to Monaco Village Sign Permitted Tunnel Permitted Tunnel Liberte Egalite et Oublier Arriving in Monaco Sight Seeing in Monaco The Railway Station The Railway Station

Diary - Top

The plan the lengthen the walks to get back on schedule has worked. With about 22 km to walk tomorrow, and assuming there are no further hitches, I'll reach Ventimiglia in Italy. The hot tendon has cooled back to normal and the feet are not complaining too much. The mobile phone camera took some very realistic dull gray looking photos and I have not lost it yet.

The Meteo Nice website said it would rain and it did. Early in the walk there was enough to merit umbrella deployment. That lasted only a few minutes. Soon after the halfway mark and bypassing the first road tunnel, closed to pedestrians, the heavens opened. It was windy and not ideal umbrella weather. Also the pavement was designed in Ryanair style, having minimal width. The passing buses and lorries would have swept the umbrella away, perhaps into the parallel railway power lines. The pyrotechnics might have been interesting to behold. So the umbrella was hidden up and out came the goretex cagoule. This configuration is usually reserved for steep mountain paths in wet weather. On with the walk.

Monaco is probably quite nice on a dry day. Today it was bedraggled and resembled a rather steep rocky version of Manchester. This was confirmed when a wrong turn took me into a dingy industrial dead end back street. There was one brief view of a millionaire's yacht in the harbour. Much more interesting was the chimera of a cow and a cement truck. Milton Keynes has got some competition in the concrete cow department.

Finding the railway station was interesting. I had it waymarked but it defied discovery for some time. The entire station is underground. The entry points are small and not too well signposted. I climbed many steps from sea level to about 70 metres going through a park with a view over a ravine or gorge. Another 100 metres slightly uphill on the road and there was the entrance under a circular glass roof that did not keep the seats dry. On entering, you go down an escalator and then down an express lift, presumably back to roughly sea level. There was evidence of another easier way in. Perhaps I'll try that exit tomorrow and waymark it to put on Google for the benefit of others.

Passing a hotel, there was a sign over the gateway that read Liberte Egalite Fraternite. Having walked across the south of France, there is a worrying trend. More and more gated communities are being built, severing traditional routes. The little old lady can no longer get to the shops. School children have to circumnavigate the estate on busy roads to get to school. And long distance walkers just get irritated. Perhaps Liberte Egalite et Oublier might be a better motto for modern France.

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