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A Wise Decision, July 1, 2011

Stage 3, D61 (Sospel à Col de Turini) (we only got halfway, to Moulinet)

11.72 miles, 6,737’ up, 2,562’ down (for entire stage)

Go to this map and hover over the triangles to see where the stage we just completed is relative to the entire trail. (The stage beginning and end locations are probably backwards, as we are doing the trail in the opposite direction)

Left Sospel at 7 am, in order to make it all the way to Col de Turini if possible. Ce n'est pas possible pour moi. Got to the ancient village of Moulinet around lunch time after ~3500' up and 2500' steep down, and could not even think about another ~3500' up today. Bob went running toward Col de Turini while I rested and confirmed this was a very good choice. We will have to adjust future stages, but I'm learning that there are still limits to my stamina. Overall I can do so much more than before the ablation, but it takes time to reclaim the many years of declining physical strength.

A normal "street" in Moulinet

Terrain today was more beautiful than we've seen so far and the trails better graded (for the most part). Entered Parc du Mercantour, filled with butterflies, flowers, wide green mountain views and more shade than before. Have not seen a single other person on the trails.

No hotels in Moulinet, so we are staying in a gite (zheet) - a kitchenette apartment for vacationers. It is a beautiful three-generational house built high up on the hillside; each generation has its own apartment (behind closed doors that open to the central staircase). We are in the attic - from street level, that is up six long flights of stairs.  We have an incredible view out our window.

Window View
View out our gite window
Things are so not 24/7 in France. There is only one store in Moulinet, and one operational restaurant (open only for lunch). So we're cooking for ourselves tonight, which means visiting the store. We got several reports of when it opens (4:30, 5, 5:30, 6:30, 7, 8, never) and walked back down the hill a few times until the magic moment came (6:30). The store was surprisingly well-stocked for its small space
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