First Stop – Nice, France


Day 4 (39 days ago). There was this one thing I really, really wanted to do in Nice, and it was Les Gorges du Verdon. I looked it up several times online and for some mysterious reason, it led me to think that once I’d be in Nice, there would be guided tours/buses going over there just about every hour. However, once there, I started to substantially freak out that it wouldn’t go as I had visualized in my head because, basically, there was NO WAY THERE. (Unless you rented a car and ventured yourself in the very dubious roads of France for about three hours. Did I mention I’m travelling alone?) And here begins the almost-never-ending chain of Fails.

I failed to go to Gorges du Verdon, so I decided to go to a closer natural park, Parc Mercantour. Um, I failed to go there too, so I decided to go to an even closer park in Nice, and hike up Mont Boron. I failed to find it.
I tried again.
I failed AGAIN.
I stopped at a market to get something to eat, and failed to find a vegetarian sandwich. I ate a tuna sandwich. (Bleh.) On my way back, I took a different path and there I saw it: the small, crumbling sign saying, Chemin des Crêtes, which led to Mont Boron. I took it. It was a narrow path of 216 steps—I counted—and I ended up at the base of the mount, freaking exhausted. Nothing clearly stated that it was it, though. For all I knew, I was surrounded by trees. Maybe I’d been lied to and there wasn’t even a mount.

At that moment, I was torn between exploring further and heading back. It had taken one hour and a half more than it should have to get there, and I started to ask myself many crucial questions that everyone should ask him/herself when confronted to such a situation.

Q1: What time is it? How long is the way back?
            13:10. One hour…if I don’t get lost again.

Q2: On a scale of 1 to 10, how tired are you? If above 5, ABORT MISSION.
            I don’t know, 12 maybe?

Q3: How much water/food do you have left?
            Like, 200 ml of water, half a not-so-fresh tuna sandwich, a nectarine.

Q4: WTF are you doing?
            I’m trying, all right? I’m really trying.

Q5: How sketchy is the place?

So the place wasn’t really sketchy, but let’s mention that there was about 0,0 human beings surrounding me. The one time I met people—two men—the only thing I could think about was that I had (upcoming fail) forgotten my rape whistle. (Sorry to disappoint you, mom.) I was in the middle of the woods, on another continent, I had just failed the Survival Survey among several other Epic Fails, and the only sentences wandering through my tired brain contained the words rape and whistle. Like Donald says in that amazing movie, Les Doigts Croches, “You have to listen to the road.” The road was politely telling me to f**k off.

So I did.

But on the way back to the hostel, I saw some amazing sceneries. The sky didn’t have a single cloud, and I was high enough to take some rather fantastic pictures of Nice. Then I walked through a beautiful park, Castel des Deux Rois, where I sat to read a book (The Handmaid’s Tale). At the hostel, I met girls from Germany, Australia, and England, and we all went out to walk around the old town. The night was warm, the sea dark and comforting, the city so alive. It was so nice I started to think I had had all my share of Fails for the trip. I was smiling, proud of the way I had handled the obstacles so far.

Me: I mean, what else could go wrong?
God: LOL. You’re too cute.

Fail Count: 7


6 thoughts on “First Stop – Nice, France

Add yours

  1. I went to Gorges du Verdon last year. It was exotic and beautiful, the vegetation there, the sent of nature, the water sooo blue. Hope you’ll have the chance to go back. It’s worth the price.


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