Here’s Sue’s diary record for Stage 10:
Friday 31 August 2007
Had late breakfast (8am) after a comfortable night. A fine spread of croissants, pain au chocolats, and French bread was more appetising than yesterday's.
Packed away freshly washed clothes, paid bills, and donned waterproof tops as the cloud was moist.
The track led from the back of the campsite, into a wooded valley by the river. The mist coated the webs on the trees, and our hair. We soon warmed up with the still air and gentle ascent, and clothes came off. Passing through the hamlet of Les Prioux, we observed its similarity to a Nepalese village but resisted the temptation to stop - too early for coffee.
A section of road followed, and more impressions of Nepal - a man leading two mules with loads heading up to Refuge de la Valette. After leaving the road, the track climbed more steeply, and two four-wheel drive vehicles lumbered past us.
Our coffee stop was at Refuge le Roc de la Pêche.
It was next to a 12th Century chapel - Notre Dame des Alpages, which had lots of wood carvings and two small stained glass windows.
There were carved pieces holding different types of bells, which were replicated inside the refuge. It also had a huge fireplace and a medieval looking chandelier with bronze figures of animals.
The Refuge’s coffees and hot chocolate were expensive but very nice.
By now, the cloud was breaking and the sun shone in brief spells. Another gradual climb, past a farm producing Beaufort cheese, and cows grazing, bells ringing. The path climbed away from the river, where we stopped to put on shorts, and soon afterwards we stopped for lunch - French bread, tinned fish and tomato and fruit. Martin brewed up. The bright spell seemed to be over - it clouded up again, but it was only a short distance to the Refuge de Péclet-Polset at 2474 metres. It was rebuilt last year and has several large solar panels on the side and panoramic windows that now look out onto cloud.
There are sleepers in our dorm of bunks, so we settle down to diary write, read, do puzzles, etc.
This was a fine refuge, AAC at that, so Sue and I got discounts for only the second time this week, but overall our £63 Austrian Alpine Club membership has been worthwhile.
Today we passed a river with tidal wave signs, much dew laden foliage, and raspberries galore.
Here we are known as 'Vansielri', so we are Italian today. That doesn't stop me thrashing R and S at Uno, but I lost the second game due to a false accusation of cheating against Richard...
A superb hut, with excellent food - lumpy soup, a good pork dish, cheese, and baked apple.
[Stats: 9.10 to 10.30 - Le Pont de la Peche 1740 metres; 11.00 to 11.40 - coffee at refuge; 12.55 to 1.40 - lunch in the sun; 2.10 - refuge at 2474m = 3.5 hours walking, 12.0 km with 1050 metres ascent.]
(Anquet: 13 km, 1292 m ascent)