We take an early train to Sospel up through the tunnels and windy steep valleys in the Train des Merveilles. Sospel is an Italianate town, much praised by the Rough Guide for its wonderful buildings, so we think it worth a look.

Roman Bridges, amazing public toilets and lavoir combined, where I take many photos, narrow dark alleys opening onto squares full of faded splendour in a riot of old buildings and arches.

We stop for coffee and tarte Tatin before walking around and shopping for groceries.  (fantastic alternative to the crowded hypermarche Auchan in La Trinite) Taking the 1pm train home and walking back up the stony hot short-cut to Peillon brings us back to our sunny terrace for a long lunch under the umbrella, before walking to the crags to see if they are quiet in the evening.

Still sunny and hot , we find the shady side of the crag and it is deserted. Completely alone we are free to climb anything we want. Jim has forgotten his shoes, but he can just about climb bin mine, so we try Merguez Party; a climb that is easy enough for me to try and then try again to get used to the steepness and the feel of the rock I am so hesitant about. It is lovely just being there, it feels like a different place to when it is full of climbers.

DSCF0677 DSCF0675 DSCF0664 DSCF0651 DSCF0650 DSCF0633 DSCF0622 DSCF0606 DSCF0537 New_1_DSCF0625 DSCF0682Thursday 24 april 2014

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