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Day A9 - Bad roads, worse weather
 March 6, 2013                    Cogolin to Pas de Courtin                           18.5 miles
Descent Google Maps 2
Descent Google maps 1
Descent Google maps 3
Above: These street shots (courtesy of Google maps) were taken in dry weather, and illustrate a steep winding descent about three miles from today's destination. It was too wet and murky to take photographs myself. In addition, I was walking on the left of this road so as to better see approaching traffic.

The shot at the foot of the page is by me, and an attempt at wry humor.

"When in doubt, bash it out," I said to Hobson.

I was sitting in the Spar minimart in the village of La Môle, about 5 miles out of last night's stop in Cogolin. I was soaked and cold, and had scarcely begun today's 18.5 mile bruiser to the nearest accommodation on my route, that I'd determined to be the Hotel les Mimosas in Pas de Courtin.

The forecast had said rain and wind, and the authorities had added emphasis by issuing a strong wind warning for the region.

"I rest my case," said Hobson.

Finding myself on the defensive, I protested too much by pointing out to Hobson that the forecasts were often wrong and, in fact, the winds were lighter than the forecast 45 mph.

"But we've already had the forecasted rain amount for today, and it's not 10 o'clock yet," was Hobson's rejoinder. And, in case I missed his point, "It's still pelting down".

He might have added that I was sitting in a Spar minimart in the middle of BFE, buying coffee dispensed from a machine in thimble-size cups desperately hoping that the anemic heater would dry my clothes, many of which I'd strung on the one chair and coffee table.

It's actually not that hard to explain why I walked 18 miles in the rain today, other than my questionable sanity. For starters, the forecasts can be wrong - and if they are to be believed, I'd have to believe tomorrow's forecast also - of rain and wind, leaving me cooling my heels for three nights in Cogolin.

That sort of delay is not really palatable for another reason, which is that I've booked all the hotels ahead of time, and any one cancellation throws them all out. And, if I did it this time, there'd undoubtedly be a next time too. One replan not only costs money, but it's quite enough work to make slogging it in the rain a better alternative. (Finding accommodation enroute is one of the bęte noirs of hiking.)

And that's why I said to Hobson in the Spar minimart at Le Môle with just 5 miles out of 18 under my very wet belt, "When in doubt, bash it out."

Well, it truly was miserable. The traffic was heavy, with many trucks, and the road was narrow and shoulderless - sloping steeply away on slippery grass and mud banks to a rocketing torrent of rain in a drainage ditch. For safety, I tended to negotiate with approaching traffic by stopping and waving my stick - and they universally gave me a wide berth, even stopping themselves when opposing traffic put the squeeze on.

Just for good measure, the last 5 miles included a winding descent from 750 ft to 250 ft in about two miles.

The rain never stopped the entire day, and progressively soaked all of me, including my boots. It was cold enough to make me think of hypothermia or other ills. After 12 miles or so, I'd have grabbed any other accommodation that presented itself, or jumped on a bus. Without such possibilities, I bashed it out, and was happy to find a tub and a good heater at my destination.

Tonight, it's dinner in the hotel as long as they don't expect footwear.

I'm sorry about the photographs. Today was just too wet.

Sub boat
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© 2013 Daryl May