Tag Archives: GR5

HOW TOUGH IS A WALK ON THE GR5?

St Delmas le Selvage. It looks a long way down.

St Dalmas le Selvage. It looks a long way down from here, but it’s where the nearest cafe is waiting.

It’s hard to describe for non-walkers the experience of hiking one of Europe’s great trails, the GR5 over the French Alps.

Here’s my best effort to compare it to an exercise anyone can try at home… Continue reading

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HEADING FOR THE HILLS – back soon

The French Alps, mostly wi-fi free.

The French Alps, mostly a wifi free zone.

We apologise for this break in transmission. Do not adjust your set.

I’ll be somewhere in France for the next week, walking roughly southwards along the mighty GR5 route from St Paul-sur-Ubaye, hoping to emerge at St Martin-sur-Vesubie. There’ll be refuges with food, beer, wine and beds along the way, but I don’t expect to find internet access very often.

The Dutch footballers in Brazil will have to struggle on without my help. I’ll be back in time for the final.

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TEN REASONS TO LOVE THE FRENCH ALPS

The scenery is a knockout.

The scenery is a knockout.

I think I’ve now spent more time walking in the French Alps than any other place in the world, even including the hiking I’ve done in Australia and New Zealand.

This year’s leg was six days hiking the GR5 and its variants between St Paul sur l’Ubaye and St Martin de Vesubie.

It’s still an annual highlight of my life to spend a week in the mountains with my Dutch friends.

Here’s why I keep going back there: Continue reading

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THE YEAR THAT WAS 2011 – our travel highlights

Getting there sometimes required some effort. That's why they call them highlights. This hump is Mt Hvitserkur, Iceland.

I’ll be taking a short break from writing, blogging and nearly everything else (except collecting material for new posts) until the New Year. So it’s time for a look back at highlights of the year that’s oh so nearly passed. Continue reading

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HIKING FRANCE – la Grande Traversée des Alpes

This is an easy bit, but up ahead...

Hannibal did it, Napoleon did it and now I can say I’ve done it too. Those famous conquerors were faster, but I understand they did it the easy way. The wusses rode elephants and horses, took shortcuts and had armies of minions carrying their gear for them.

I travelled on foot, by the scenic route, doing all my own walking and lugging all my own stuff, with just a small entourage of intrepid friends, and it took us five week-long trips spaced across five separate years to make the Grande Traversée des Alpes, the Great Alpine Crossing. This year we finished the job. Continue reading

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FRENCH ALPS – hiking the GR5

An easy section. But it looks like there are tougher bits up ahead.

I don’t normally have jam on my morning baguette, but in the mountains you take all the calories you are offered. I’ve paid for them and by golly I’m going to use them.
Continue reading

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