Monday 19th July 1999

This was quite a satisfying day. We covered quite a lot of ground and got to our mid-point resting place.

Purists might criticise us for taking the easy way into Le Mont Dore but the “real” GR4 does not actually go into the town. We would have found ourselves at the top of the Puy de Sancy, having traversed several decent sized mountains, and then having to descend to the Youth Hostel. Of course if we were tigers we could have carried on to Super Besse – but I suspect we would have been dead tigers by then!

The Diary

and commentary

The Highlands in the Auvergne

We got going about 10:15. About half way to Pessade the light drizzle intensified so we put on our waterproofs. Five minutes later we certainly needed them. The rain got heavier and heavier but actually made for good walking as it kept us cool. We stopped for a coffee and half a loaf of bread in Pessade and pressed on through some very attractive country, rather like the Highlands (especially the rain). At 12 we got to the D996 and turned down the GR4E to get an easy way into Le Mont Dore. It had dried by then. A had been very good in the wet, trudging along with a hunk of bread in one hand and a piece of St. Nectaire cheese in the other.

Rain, cows and Alasdair

Thankfully our rucksacks were waterproof, which is more than can be said for my bum bag. My wallet, and all the money inside it, got soaked.

Sunshine and Alasdair

Alasdair got rather annoyed with my rendition of “Singin’ in the Rain”. I thought it was rather good, so kept on singing it – perhaps that was the burden of his complaint.

We diverged from the path to see the Cascade de Rossignolet – very pretty and flowing well. A had to change into his trainers as his feet hurt in his boots. Once in town we were still a long way from the Youth Hostel. We found a bus stop but buses seemed to be infrequent. So we walked through town looking for a taxi – without success. Eventually a bus showed when we had got through the town and we got into the hostel by 4. Not sure how long we will stay here. Had a leisurely evening – money laundering, phoned home, had a couple of beers.

The mists clear
Money laundering in the Youth Hostel

Alasdair found it difficult to tighten his boots sufficiently – although he always said he had – and as a result his toes were bashing into the toe of his boots. And we didn’t think to keep his toe-nails well enough trimmed. However it seldom caused him any great discomfort.

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 Day 8 Day 9 Day 10 Day 11 Day 12 Day 13 Day 14

Map of Today’s Route

Right click on the map, choose “Open image in a new tab”, click on that and get a supersized version of this map.