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Published: July 30th 2006
A picture with the TMB sign
If they were more of those in the morning we'd save 2 hours...
I can put it in one word in Hebrew: "hitbarbarnu". The day started fine with muesli for breakfast, and we started to walk to the village of Ferret. I was expecting a nice warm-up as Ferret was only 100m up the valley. Soon, however, the path started to climb and we discovered something was very wrong only after climbing over 200m. We were looking for the way down to Ferret that we saw below us in the valley. Soon there were many people behind us. Everybody made the same mistake (maybe because the signs were bad?) We found a narrow path down and soon enough there was another dilemma: signs that do not match the map and the book. Again there were lengthy discussions with the others, and eventually they all followed our decision to trust the map. We probably looked very confident... We were not sure at all... Well eventually we were back on track, to start our 800m ascent to Grand Col Ferret, and into Italy. One funny incident that happened while we were lost: my friend Shelly suddenly called me on my mobile phone. Even though we were not lost in the middle of nowhere, we were still
Interesting decoration at La Peula
It's a dairy farm with a small kiosk selling nameless coke in plastic cups for 3 euros!
a bit stressed and it was strange to get a call from home while you’re looking for the right way thousands of km away.
On the way to Col Ferret we saw a group of Japanese hikers. You could tell they were: walking in a straight row on the left side of the path and dressed up head to toes, including white gloves. It’s a bit funny. After them came a group of bikers. I talked a bit with one that stopped to take pictures, and learned that they do the entire TMB. When going up they walk carrying their bikes! Later, after we crossed Col Ferret and discovered how steep the way on the other side was, I couldn't stop admiring them. Speaking of admiration, we talked a bit today with some of the others that were walking with us. Many are not young at all. One group seemed easily over 60, and they were not walking more slowly than me. I hope I would be able to walk like that at that age.
Eventually we reached Refuge Elena at 3pm, making a very good time if we ignore the morning "extra hike". The dorms room here is the
largest I have ever seen, with maybe 60 beds in the same place... I wonder how noisy it's gonna get... Well I'm going to find out soon as I go to sleep, not before quoting the "phrase of the day", coming from a French guy sitting next to us at dinner: "A meal without cheese is like summer without sun". Good night.
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