20.6 km today.
3.3 km/h average today.
6 hours 9 mins walking time.
63.8 km this trip.
2943.4 km from start.
57 metres minimum height.
326 metres maximum height.
483 metres ascent.
467 metres descent.
Track Log: Logged.
Travel: Train, Train.
Urban Marseille for 6km. Then mountain paths. Military zone, Oops.
Using the earliest train, it was possible to start walking at dawn. The road went from quiet to grid-lock as the rush hour got under way. It was a 6 km slog to get out of the urbanisation. On the way there was a pizza restaurant called Gargantua. This was reminiscent of a rather unsuccessful attempt to describe a sore throat to a Portuguese pharmacist. "Dor do gargantua" might have been close but not close enough. Planning the expedition with the Portuguese phrase book caused much hilarity which might partly account for the lack of communication later.
Then the mountain woodland appeared. This was perfect until the "Military Zone - No Entry" sign. Earlier there had been a walkers sign post and the military sign looked ancient so the notice got ignored. This technique worked a few times in Spain but here there was a manned guard post. Time for the stupid foreigner act. After a polite chat with a ridiculously young guard, the retreat was started. This was quite a long detour. On the plus side it was possible to photograph a rare wild tulip, woodland lilies and a new sort of orchid. As these were on the military base, lots of rules probably got broken.
On the back-track some way marks were spotted. These must have been marking the signposted walk. This path was steep and very nice but hard work for a fat fifty-something. Later, passing a gym advertising aerobic exercise, a great feeling of endorphin enhanced smugness was evident.
The rest of the walk went to plan, eventually rejoining the original route at the main entrance to the 4th Regiment of Dragons [sic].
The mistral had got up so the long wait for the train was draughty and at times the dust and litter devils were tiresome. The photos of the railway tamper were included in memory of the late Anne who, having never heard of a tamper, used the nearest word she was familiar with. A much more amusing name and the joke persists years later. After some shopping which included a 750 ml smoothie this log was typed sitting on the toilet getting over the sudden re-introduction of fruit to a three day diet of only cheese sandwiches. It was worth it though and past experience says it'll only be a three sit wonder.
The cold has turned to sinus congestion and catagrh.