Day 9: Briançon to Brunissard
“Rest days are for the weak,” we said to ourselves as we struggled to walk down the stairs of our hotel. Actually, it wasn’t that bad. Yes, we were sore. Yes, our feet still hurt. But we were going to continue walking because that’s what we set out to do.
Our hotel was conveniently next to an ATM and supermarket so we could stock up on chocolate and cookies. I also dropped by the pharmacy and apparently looked such a wreck that they gave me a couple of packets of free hydration salts.
The first part of the hike was (surprise, surprise) through Briançon along roads. However, it didn’t take long before we were zigzagging up through the forests again along a nice path, only occasionally crossing the road. There were signs everywhere announcing some kind of trailrunning competition. Despite all the signs saying it would be “horrible et terrible” the landscape couldn’t have been more idyllic. Especially after the Chalets des Ayes. It was green and pleasant, with mountains on all sides and beautiful stream. There were some sections on dirt roads but all in all it was a great hike. At the Col des Ayes we entered the Parc National Régional du Queyras.
From the Col we followed the zigzag path down and quickly found ourselves on the road again. Just before Brunissard there was a campsite spread out under the trees. Once we dropped our packs there the neighbours brought us cold drinks. Apparently we still looked like wrecks. We also had time for a quick swim in the lake. At dinner the neighbours decided we needed feeding up so they made us pancakes!