Distance 11 km High temperature 52F
Starting wind chill 32F
Attention, all you walkers who write to the forums inquiring about shoulder-season weather on this route! The season has changed, and the daily highs have dropped 20 degrees F. The wind was blowing all night and into this morning.
The cloud deck at ground level, the fresh breeze and the near-freezing chill combine with the short distance planned for today to induce a leisurely start. Underway at 1000 wearing merino t-shirt, lightweight fishing shirt, puffy jacket, rain shell, hiking pants, rain pants, and my Buff turned into a beanie, I am comfortable only if I am walking. The sheep are hard at work already.
Vistas over the valley below show the old volcanic cores.
After a steep and Stoney descent to the valley floor, it is a bit warmer with less breeze.
We pass some interesting new construction, combining eco-engineering with modern architecture. Not everything in France is ancient stone.
The route passes through hamlets whose stone walls must be centuries old, then skirts some of the old volcanic cores.
In the event one is interested, a climbing route is available over the top. It would surely offer a splendid panorama.
Where the route divides, and the GR 65 goes uphill left, we instead follow the SDC Scallop downhill to the right, along a creek where mills were located, before coming into Saint-Julien-Chapteuil from the northeast.
Lodging: Chambres Pelerins Guillard. This is a private home that makes overnight lodging available to credentialed pilgrims. M&M were themselves pilgrims, ten years ago. Quiet, friendly location only 4 blocks off the GR 65.