Walking from Nice to Monaco
Published March 31, 2019
The night before I was still fighting away that enemy of a voice inside that questioned if I could really do it.
I was in no shape to spend five hours in the sun walking twelve miles along a rugged and hilly coastline. I thought about changing the mission…
‘Maybe I could do a hike instead.'
‘Maybe I can just make a vlog in Nice or Monaco.’
I went to bed only 90% sure I would be putting my body through hell the next day.
In the morning I slept another hour after my alarm went off, I woke up and reset it knowing that once it went off again, I would be doing it, I would be walking to Monaco.
My mind was set on it, I couldn’t accept changing this trip to a hike that would have been easier on my body or just taking the train or bus to Monaco and making a video there and pretending to be happy with the outcome.
I had to walk or it would go down as a failure. I wanted to see if I could, I wanted that too much not to.
I ate two cheese and ham sandwiches and a couple handfuls of cheap madeleines washing the quick breakfast down with the last of my coke. I’d have time to eat healthier another day, this walk was about getting the exercise solution of the problem kick-started again, fruits and vegetables and a good diet could wait a little longer.
I left the hotel in a good mood, it looked like the perfect day for a long walk, no rain and not too hot with a cool sea breeze.
The perfect day for a long walk of an hour or two with plenty of sunscreen spread all over. I didn’t have sunscreen though and my end point was Monaco, five long hours away.
The first few hours of the walk passed by with only minimal warnings of the pain I would be in by the end of it. The ocean smacked up against the pebbled beaches and rocky coast, the breeze cooled the sunshine on my back and locals and tourists shuffled about in no particular hurry. I was enjoying it, clocking up beautiful sleepy small town after beautiful sleepy small town.
Easy, I’d be in Monaco in no time.
A few hours later and closing in on Monaco that mood had shifted.
The paths became treacherous, tiny slivers of concrete cut out of the roadside just big enough for one person, with a constant roaring of cars and motorbikes screaming by. I knew my neck had been cooked and overdone and a blister on my heel was growing in size with each step forward I took.
Progress meant abandoning more and more of my mind too. I walked the length of a railway track, swaying and dizzy. Next to me warnings of imminent death if I strayed too close to the lines.
At the end of the tracks I started talking to some cactuses, further on I got high on fresh paint fumes outside a luxury resort before zigzagging back onto another main road.
Not so easy anymore.
It wasn’t too bad though. Despite the pain and confusion I was still DETERMINED to make the finish line, that was enough for me to keep thinking positive.
The only real moment of worry came when I was staring at the map on my phone after climbing a steep hill, I felt a shudder run through me, as if all the blood had been sucked out of my head, an in space without a space suit kind of feeling. I was about to faint for the first time in my life.
I didn’t though, somehow I kept standing.
I was already starting to get the stares.
I’ve had my fair share of these, worn out and dirty in some strange place but these were different, more shock and astonishment than ‘that guy looks like he smells’ but I was minutes away from Monaco now, the worry could wait until I crossed the finish line.
I crossed that line after roughly five hours, making a turn around a small roundabout and leaving the French Republic and entering the Principality of Monaco.
I spent less than an hour in the second smallest country in the world, my only engagement with it consisted of going up and down some escalators, sitting on a bench, taking a piss in a public toilet and seeing my fried ketchup neck in the mirror.
I walked up and down different streets trying to find the bus back to Nice.
I couldn’t wait to get back to France and back to my hotel room.
Monaco turned out to be quite a bore.
The reward wasn’t Monaco though, to be honest and I don’t say this with any venom attached but it’s a bit of a joke country, a silly housing estate for mostly silly people, with these realizations and a body about to implode I quickly left.
I made it back to my hotel in Nice and surveyed the damage in the bathroom mirror. It was bad but I would recover. And with my body still shivering with pain signals I crawled into bed and tried my best to sleep it all off.