​GR 20 Day 10 – Should We Stay Or Should We Go? – September 12, 2017

Refuge d’Usciolu to somewhere on the road to Quenza

Distance 30 km (18.6 miles) 

Our time 7 am to 7:30 pm

This morning was the most beautiful yet. We had a long hard day ahead of us and we had high hopes of better weather than yesterday. 

Instead we got even thicker fog and stronger winds as we crossed completely exposed terrain. 

I think today might have been a fun rock scramble in better weather. The trail traversed the Arête a Monda. As we weaved from side to side we got blasted by the wind. Everyone we talked to said they had to hold on and crawl to keep from getting blown over. The fog made it worse as my glasses were completely wet.  I can’t see a thing without them. Or with them when they are fogged and wet. 

We got to Refuge de Matalza which is lower and ate lunch there. We ate food we were carrying because it was closed at 11. The guardian was off getting more supplies. 

The 2nd half of the day was supposed to be easier. The climb up to the shoulder of Monte Alcudina was gradual and the wind was at our back. 

The shoulder of Monte Alcudina

The climb down was another story. Rocky, rocky, rocky and windy, windy, windy down to the Refuge d’Asinau. I even got knocked down at one point.  This refuge was burned down in 2016 and now has a couple temporary buildings and a big tent used as the dining area. All the refuges here have tents you can hire (rent). Most of the ones here had been destroyed by the wind. It would be futile to try to get our tents set up in this wind.
We walked downhill to the Bergeries d’Asinau. There were some beds inside available in a dark, dirty building that I did not want to even go inside of. No camping was allowed. Contrary to what the guidebook said there was no food for sale at the Bergerie.  

So we walked back up to the refuge and bought some food we could eat for dinner.

Then we went rogue and decided to walk lower into the trees and find a place to wild camp. We took the yellow trail toward Quenza. That turned into a dirt road and finally over 2 hours later we found a flat enough spot that we could cowboy camp without being seen. 

The GR 20 is on the other side of the ravine below the Aiguilles de Bavella.

We are parallel to the GR20 but there is a big ravine between us and the trail.  Jim sprained his ankle a couple days ago and doesn’t care if he finishes the trail or not. We might just walk the rest of the way to Quenza tomorrow and bus back to the trail. Or just quit. I am not voting to quit. But I am really looking forward to a road trip in a rental car. 

4 thoughts on “​GR 20 Day 10 – Should We Stay Or Should We Go? – September 12, 2017

  1. Lynn Duncan

    I wear glasses, can relate!
    And of course they got up when most needed. I remember river rafting..
    Hope you enjoyed the road trip.

  2. Warren

    “I can’t see a thing without them. Or with them when they are fogged and wet.” -Nancy, brilliant!

    Sunrise and the alpenglow are really beautiful in your first photos.


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