It was interesting re-walking this route and finding out which bits I had strong memories of, and which bits had slipped my mind.
Last time I walked in snow up above Montbonnet and it didn't seem like much of a climb at all. But today I walked in quite a lot of mud and the climb was more obvious. The descent to St Privat was muddy and tricky both times.
Last time when I arrived in St Privat there was no sunshine and the chateau seemed to loom menacingly above the village. But today there was some sunshine and the whole village looked warmer and more inviting. I took my time poking around the church site with its hilltop views, Then I shopped for a few bits for lunch, and had a hot chocolate.
There was only about 7km left to walk on this short day and that seemed like a walk in the park. But the memory played tricks. I had forgotten how much climbing there was to Rochegude. The tiny chapel on top of rock there was just as atmospheric, with rock poking up through the floor.
I had also quite forgotten how hard the descent was from Rochegude- over rocks that were quite large for my short legs! And mountain bikers had been active there and it made the track downhill less certain. I was glad I didn't get lost and have to re- climb part of it.
Others here in the gite have spoken angrily about their encounters with bikers on the descent- going very quickly...
I remember arriving last time in Monistrol feeling exhausted. I was pleased not to be feeling too tired today. And the gite I am in is a pleasant smaller one with a good atmosphere, La Tsabone. The whole arrangement of sofas etc seems to hdlp woth conversation. Looking forward to dinner!
PS Dinner was fascinating with animated discussion as the results of the French presidential election were awaited. Everyone here is elated with the result....
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