The next 4 sections we completed staying in a hotel in Fréjus. The GR goes inland and options to get to and from the start and end of sections are a bit more challenging. However, with a couple of taxi rides and being saved by the good samaritans of la Bouverie, Michel and Marie we made it.
Lac de Ecureuil to maison forestière de la Duchesse, 385m 12.5km
Maison forestière de la Duchess to large allée forestière, 400m 3km
Large allée forestière to carrefour du Testonier, 311m 2km
Total on GR51 17.5km, total walking distance for the day 20.5km.
After the Eurostar to Paris, TGV Paris to St-Raphael and then bus to Fréjus we set out to start were we left the GR51 ten months before. The arranged to stay in the Hotel Restaurant L’Arena for 5 nights. It is located 100m from the railways station and 500m from the bus interchange. This first morning we caught the train to Agay and had booked a taxi (15 Euros) to take us into the Esterel and the Col du Belle Barbe. It was a bright sunny but bitterly cold morning with patches of snow on the ground. We had 3km to get to where we had left off along the Ravin du Mal Infernet – rather aptly named for this remote and fairly deep valley. It was enjoyable to be back on the route and having the forest almost to ourselves. The path turns north after the Col Aubert for 6km or so before turning west at Baisse Violette. With Mont Vinaigre coming closer it was a little exciting as we had seen this hill which dominates the skyline on the
previous 6 sections – in fact from Cabris and maybe before. The final climb up to the top was through packs of frozen snow which on the north face had melted and frozen to make the tracks lethally slippery. Ouch!
We finally arrived at the road and Col du Testonier at about 4pm and phoned for a taxi. 20 minutes later it arrived and we were back in Fréjus for tea and a patisserie 10 minutes later and 30 Euros poorer – but still good value from Radio Taxis Frejus.
We completed this section on February 11th 2012.