Thursday, Sept 27th, 2007
It rained all day yesterday; lucky it was a free day :-). Today dawned clear and sunny, but clouds quickly gathered and it became a game of dodge the rain. For most of about 5 hours there were either thunderstorms or showers visible somewhere ahead, but the only time it rained more than a couple of drops on us was when we were standing chatting with a couple of English tourists outside our hotel in Peillon. So we went in.
Some tricky trails today. For a change we didn't hike along the path of a Grande Randonnee (long distance hiking trail), but instead took secondary trails. They were marked on my map as hiking trails, and there were in fact signposts and trail-marks from time to time, but the overall quality of the navigational aids was pretty poor. Despite this we went astray only once, however, and were fortunate to immediately be caught trespassing and thus sent straight back to the right path!
The vegetation is getting more aggressive as we get closer to the Mediterranean: it seems as if every plant or bush we pass has thorns or spikes. This is the first day I have arrived with bloody scratches on my legs.
We passed through Peille -- a lovely medieval perched village -- around 2PM and stopped for cups of hot chocolate at a cafe: even though we didn't get wet from the rain, it was still quite cold, around 4-8C, I'd guess. Unusual for this area at this time of the year: we are only a few km from the coast, and the highest point on the hike was only around 1000m. There was snow visible on the some of the higher peaks around us: good thing we aren't crossing high passes now!
Our hotel, l'Auberge de la Madone in Peillon, another beautiful medieval perched village, seems exceptionally nice: an old inn with large rooms, and, at least according to the Michelin Guide, which gave it a star, an excellent kitchen. The only problem: dinner is at 8PM. I ate my last Snickers bar about two hours ago and am by now (7:20) starving, as is typical by this time of the day when we hike.
If you hear reports of earthquakes on the Cote-d'Azur, don't worry: it's only my stomach.