We first ford the Bras de Ste-Suzanne and then head backwards into the valley on a wide and fairly flat path.
Here we meet the French girls again and they tell us that they have called everywhere and have not been able to find accommodation for the night in Aurère, Îlet à Malheur, Îlet à Bourse or Grand Place and therefore cannot do the tour as planned and are going directly to Îlet des Orangers today. We wonder about the booking situation in the early season and are glad about our advance booking of all the huts. We wish them both all the best and continue our tour.
We feel slightly fooled 😉 and immediately have a suspicion how the times on the signs come about: these are the best times of the locals! As if to confirm this, a young man with a full backpack and a bag slung over his shoulder comes uphill later and passes us briskly, breathing calmly. Oida!
For our international readers: Oida is an extremely versatile expression in the Austrian language and can be used in more ways than almost any other word – you can find a short, very amusing explanatory video at Youtube.]
There is a lot of activity on the small pass, the couple from the ascent, another couple and a large family having a picnic. From here it’s 15 easy minutes to Aurère. There is also a direct route to Îlet à Malheur (“Îlet à Malheur direct”), which is marked 50 min if you want to skip Aurère.
For dessert we have a banana cake and flavoured rum, this time with aniseed and orange. At 9 pm we all go to bed – it was a long day after all.
You can see Piton Cabris again on the right. But the really exciting thing about this picture is the rock face in the background, which is over 2,000 m high in places. On a plateau of about 1,000 m – unfortunately not visible due to a rock face in front of it, near the tall tree in the middle of the picture – lies the Îlet des Orangers, where we will be the day after tomorrow! And on the left, where the band of clouds lies below the rock face, there is a ridge running down from the end of the clouds, with a hard dark shadow. The V-shaped incision: La Brèche, also the day after tomorrow, from here we will descend to Roche Plate!