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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Calanque de Sugiton

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Backpacking France & Spain: Day 08 (13-Dec-2017)

Les Calanques

One thing everyone advised me to do when I told them that I shall be visiting Marseille was to visit the Calanques. Calanque is a narrow, steep-walled inlet that is developed in limestone, dolomite, or other carbonate strata and found along the Mediterranean coast. The pictures of the Calanques with clear blue water made me immediately want to go there. 

At the reception they helped me with the details. There are many Calanques near Cassis but to get there you need a private vehicle. The easiest to reach by public transport is Calanque de Sugiton.  I had to take bus number 21 from Castellane and ride until the last stop Luminy. Luminy is  an university town and from here you can find signboards leading you to the red trail of Sugiton. The trek is about 3.5 to 4 kms long.





I walked along the trail, there was nobody there. The weather was beautiful though. I stopped to take a picture of Mont Puget on my left. An old man who was following me stopped me and explained to me in French that the summit resembled that of a face looking upwards. He also warned me of the monkeys. If I saw any, he asked me to stay still and begin retracing instead of attacking them. We had a good chat for a while until, he took a detour wishing me a good day.




The trek was not tiring. The more away from the town I walked, more beautiful the landscape got. It was something I had never seen before. The limestone cliffs looked spectacular. There were few people enjoying the lovely day and rappelling in the cliffs. 








The cold wind was blowing continuously and my hands would go numb if I removed the gloves. The wind is called Mistral. The trail seems to end at a view point but there is another  off track like trail that leads you down to the Calanque. 




I was all alone there and that was a great moment.





An old man from Norte-pas-calais who was trekking there came by and began to swim. I asked him if he did not feel cold. He told me that he came from up north where it was too cold so this did not matter.



I was surprised to see some coloured stones by the shore. At first, I thought that they were glass pieces. I wonder now if they are gem stones.



I sat there for a while sketching the beautiful view I was witnessing. The atmosphere was serene and it felt good.



After a while, a group of students accompanied by two professors came there. The kids were very noisy and they reminded me of the students in the French movie - Enter les murs. The teenagers were really funny though. They kept cracking jokes and that was entertaining. 

I had packed some croissant and Chocolate bread. I had them for lunch and sometime after noon decided to head back. I could have explored the area further. There were more trails around but I wanted to get back before dark so, I chose not to explore further and head back to the city. The moments spent at the Calanque was so satisfying that I did not yearn for more. 

At Castellane, I was impressed by this sculpture in the middle of the road. These art works give every place in France a Medieval feel.






On my walk back to the hostel, I stopped an Italian restaurant called Francesca to have some tasty Cannelloni and tarte au citron served with salad. The food was yummy!



I returned back to the hostel and did not desire to do anything more. The beautiful images of Calanque filled my eyes and I relaxed at the hostel common area capturing the moments in my journal and my sketch book. This indeed was one of the most fulfilling experiences on this trip. 

Trek Video - 


Continued Here 

3 comments:

  1. Absolutely gorgeous! To travel is to perhaps experience the most blissful of things

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  2. Awesome.. the calanques look so amazing in pics and the whole terrain is just splendid.

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  3. Thanks Rakesh and Manohar. It indeed is a pleasure to travel. Every place.

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