Wednesday 16th August: Signal de la Grave

So much for an early start… we overslept! We decided to go ahead with the planned walk anyway, hoping it wouldn’t get too hot for me. Although blue skies might be preferable in some ways, in others we were lucky to have white skies all day, and a lovely cool breeze. It was very pleasant.

After getting washed, having breakfast, making sandwiches and packing our bags, we set off. The path wound its way steeply uphill, through La Grave, to Les Terraces. The villages are all very pretty.

The views over the valley and the Meije glacier were fantastic, especially from this viewing platform, which was quite scary with a humongous drop below! We plan to walk up to the glacier tomorrow. It’ll be a long day!

I’m not very pleased with my photos today. I took loads but made the mistake of leaving a filter on, without using a tripod, which means that a lot of them a blurred. Never mind… I’ll learn from that mistake! And at least they’re a good record of our day… a fantastic day!

After passing the Oratoire du Chazelet, we continued on the path to Signal de la Grave, a 2446m peak, which was our goal. The path wound around the hillside gaining height steadily, and then more steeply, with more fantastic views. When we stopped for lunch on a smaller peak, we were surrounded by swarms of flying ants and had to do a runner!

After a few hours, and a final steep climb uphill, we reached the summit cairn of Signal de la Grave, with 360 degree views. Fantastic!

The descent was much faster, particularly because we ran where we could. We need to practise for a couple of events in September! We took a different route on the way down, which was difficult to find in places, but we soon got to Ventelon, where there was a bar with nice, cold beers! La Grave and the campsite were a few kilometres further.

We’ve now showered, done a load of washing, cooked dinner and prepared everything for tomorrow’s hike. Today’s was lovely, but we’re hoping tomorrow’s will be even better!

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