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 Walk Across Europe

2011-04-24 - Trip 19 - Leg 156

France and Italy, Provence-Alpes-Cote dAzur_Alpes Maritimes and Ligure-Imperia

Monaco to Ventimiglia

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23.9 km today.
3.6 km/h average today.
6 hours 42 mins walking time.
335.4 km this trip.
3215 km from start.
0 metres minimum height.
167 metres maximum height.
319 metres ascent.
350 metres descent.
 Track Log: Logged.
 Travel: Train, Train.
9.80 Euros.

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Mostly roads with pavemennts. Nice views. Interesting crossing into Italy. Easter Sunday traffic not too bad.

All has gone more or less to plan. Lost items include one camera and a face cloth. The camera was a pity because although not very expensive, it was ideal, claiming to be water and dust proof. Walking in driving rain or blowing sand from dunes has all been part of this expedition. It was coming up for four years old. That is how long the previous camera lasted before becoming clogged up with dust.

Today the 06:23 train for Monaco left on time. As predicted, you could get out of Monaco station without all the climbing of steps. In fact the exit was right where I had been the previous day. The only clue that it was the station was the TV screen showing the departures. This was behind glass doors and not easy to see.

The walk was routine with a few minor mistakes that added slightly to the distance. There was pavement almost all the way because the entire coast has residential housing. Of course there were cars parked on the pavement so, often you had to walk in the road! The Easter Sunday traffic was not too bad. Crossing the border was not too interesting. I got a millisecond glance from a French policeman who was chatting on his mobile phone and that was it. He might not even have been on duty. It was not like olden times when you got a stamp in your passport and the traffic would be tailed back for miles.

At Ventimiglia, the station had hundreds of Tunisians (I think) waiting outside. They were refugees from the unrest in their country. There was a TV camera filming the action. Several days ago, the train services were suspended because of the numbers of people. Today the train left on time. At Menton just inside France, police were removing people from the train. I was not one of them even though I had forgotten to compost my ticket. Luckily no one checked it. Clearly I don't look Tunisian although one of my students made me look uncannily like Osama Bin Laden by spending a few minutes in Photoshop.

So a fat, unfit bloke, nearer 60 than 50 can walk across the Mediterranean coast of France in five weeks. That is five weeks of not watching TV and getting even fatter and then having a coronary. Perhaps that's the main reason for doing the walk. There are highlights and a few moments each day when it's neither too hot nor too cold but most of the time it's hard work. There will be a few days next week before the fitness has worn off and after the feet have recovered when I'll really feel quite well. Then it'll be back to normal.

This is the first trip when I have logged the daily travel costs. When we started in 2003, each day of walking cost EUR 1 in public transport. If we were four days walking from our base, it would cost about EUR 4 to return to base. This was cheap and we didn't worry about it. With the escalating energy prices, that is no longer the case. It has reached the point where the travel costs might exceed the accommodation costs. When that happens, you plan differently. That is why I had three bases for this trip, one in Marseille, one in Toulon and finally here in Nice.