Bastille day camping

French national day is celebrated on 14 July each year. It is known as the Bastille day that commemorates the 1789 French revolution. This year the 14 July fell on a thursday so a lot of people – and I – took our friday off to have a long weekend.

The weather was cold and rainy for a July. We initially planned to go to Beaufortain on the north but heavy rain was predicted. We thus modified the destination to the south that has slightly better prediction.

Finally we decided to camp in Lac du Sautet. Sautet lake is an artifical lake that was created as the dam on the Drac river was built. The lake is located on the border of Isère and Hautes-Alpes department. From Grenoble we drove 66km to the south for about two hours before arrived to the town of Corps, close to the lake. There were several campings around the area but we went to the camping on the lake side with a beautiful view to the Dévoluy massif. The camping costed 18€/night on the high season for two people and a car. It was located just beside the nautical center with heaps of water activities: water boat, fishing; and also equipment for via ferrata. The camping was equipped with showers with hot water, toilets, washing machine, restaurant, and even pay electricity and internet.

We arrived in the morning and were lucky to get a slot with a view to the lake.

It was windy.

The camping was full quickly with kids and families that came with their camping car or tent.

We set up our tent and stocked our logistic inside the tent before driving to Col du Festre for our first hike. Light rain was predicted with a strong wind. We did a 600 m hike from Col du Festre (1442 m) to Col des Aiguilles (about 2100m). The walk was part of the GR 94 with some part crossing farms. The walk was easy through a valley with a nice view to the Dévoluy massif.


Col du Festre

After the walk we visited the Belvedere de lac du Sautet just on the dam. The dam was impressive as it was narrow and deep. If equipped we could do via ferrata on this site.


The dam on Sautet lake

Back to the camp, it was foggy so some of the moutains were hid behind. It rained lightly on the evening but then stopped.

The sunset was amazing


sunset on the lake

When the night fell, the campers gathered to see fireworks on the lakeside, celebrating the national day. Although short it was beautiful.


Fireworks on the lakeside

Pic Pétarel

On the second day we drove to the Andrieux between la Chapelle en Valgaudemar and Villar-Loubière. The hike was part of GR54 starting from 1043m of altitude. The hike was not long but rather steep from the beginning.

On about 2000m of altitude we arrived on the Lacs de Pétarel.


Pétarel lake

The hike continued with a steep slope up to the Col de Pétarel on about 2400m of altitude. In total we hiked for about 1400m of altitude differents. The ascends was okay although tiring.


close to the summit

We decided to do a loop and go down through Fouronnière. The 1400m steep descends was horrible to my knee.

I barely could walk. The rest of the walk was a car roads. It was plain but long, and with my knee, I suffered.

I made it to la Chapelle en Valgaudemar. With all the pain I felt like I deserved to buy the regional products, the Tourtons de Champsaur. It was home made dish where the dough was chewy and crispy and it was filled with different stuffs : potatoes, spinach or ravioli. It costed me 4.5€ for 5 tourtons. The second day hike was a wrap.


Tourtons de Champsaur

Grande tête de l’Obiou

L’Obiou is the highest summit in the Dévoluy massif. The weather supposed to be perfect and I was excited despite yesterday pain on my knee. The beginning of the hike was at the parking of Chalet des Baumes – 1562 m. The last part of the drive was full with small rocks along the narrow mountanious road. Upon arrival the small parking was almost full with cars. The summit was seen from the parking covered a bit with the fog.


L’Obiou from the parking

The first part of the hike was a long gentle valley covered with fogs in the morning.


Unlike the usual hike, the first part didn’t pass through the forest. From about 2000m the slope got steeper and the path started to fill with slippery small rocks. This part was hard but not dangerous.

The hardest and dangerous part started on the Roche Pertusa. In addition of the cliff narrow path where we only could put one foot at a time, the danger came from the other hikers that were up ahead. We had to pay attention to the eventual rocks that was thrown from the above.


After passing this part the path was easier. We took a small rest like other hikers before continued to go up the summit. The last part was not difficult but quite challenging.


I put my hiking sticks on the bag because I need my both hands to do a little bit of climbing-like movements and to keep my balance.


We finally arrived at the summit on 2789m with a breathtaking view. After having enough of this beauty we hiked down through the same path and back to the camp.

After three days being disconnected from the world I turned on my phone and browse on internet. We found out the horrible incident in Nice, it was heartbreaking.

Notredame de la Salette

On the last day we headed to the sanctuary of the Notredame de la Salette close to Corps. It was where Virgin Mary was repported to appear in front of two kids in 1846. It was a sunday when we visited the site and lot of catholics came there to pilgrim or to attend the mass.

We did a small hike to the Gargas to get a beautiful view to the sanctuary. The hike was easy but not much people did it.


view to the sanctuary

When we got back down to the sanctuary it was noon and was the end of the mess. The mess was held outside, close to the statue on the appearance site. A minute of silence was held for the victim in Nice.


We went back to Grenoble after.

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