Day 23 – a long 34km walk to nowhere in particular

Staying in Trefcon was a good move; a very good move indeed. We stayed in the beautiful gite of Mme & M. Wynands (main photo) and dined with them. It was a rare experience of joining in with the local people rather than eating in a restaurant. Out came a large bottle of beer and then a couple of bottles of local wine. We ate a cheese tarte, chicken, dessert and green tea. It was a memorable evening and I was able to keep an eye on the football scores using their WiFi.

I slept fitfully. I was too slow with the suncream yesterday and now I’m paying the price. It was one of those nights when you sleep quite lightly and the dreams are vivid.

Madame was up at 7.00 to serve us delicious fresh baguette and croissants with apricot jam. We were on our way by 07.45.

The walk to Tergnier was tedious and I took few photos. There was a supermarket where we bought lunch and a cafe in a camping ground where we drank coffee. We approached Tergnier along an insect laden canal but were diverted off it due to emergency gas works and walked the last hour through the waste land.

There is only one hotel in Tergnier, Le Paon, and Paul and I played a little game imagining it as we walked. The huge lobby, the team of receptionists, the bell boy, the bar … all for 45 Euro B&B for both of us. But it wasn’t quite that. We are the only guests. The toilet and shower and down the corridor. We sat in the empty restaurant; monsieur suggested chicken, we accepted his recommendation and moments later he returned with the piping hot dish fresh from the microwave. It was rather like British Airways.

There is only one option now, to fall asleep.

At this point, pilgrims coming from Northern Europe bound for Compostela turn right while the rest of us continue. But few pilgrims pass this bleak spot.

The walk along the Canal de St Quentin

11 comments on “Day 23 – a long 34km walk to nowhere in particular

  1. When do you reach the champagne region? That should lift your spirits

  2. Hope you are getting your 5 a day. Beers that is.

    • Fortunately there is always beer. We have to buy fruit whenever we see a shop and it’s the right time of year: peaches, apricots etc.

  3. Lucy Davies

    I hope it gets better soon: sunburn, so painful…..

    • It always does. This is not really a walking part of France so facilities are poor here. We’ll soon be drinking Champagne

  4. Philippa Thomas

    Greetings Tim & Paul – it doesn’t sound like the most inspiring of days for you, but your description of it cheered me up, now that we are back in cold wintry NZ! Thanks, & best wishes from both of us …

    • Hello Philippa, thanks, good to hear from you. Hope to transmit a little heat down to your chilly winter. We will have plenty to spare. Tim

  5. Its going to be hot now! So start as early as possible. Do better than I do today. This afternoon I will be in Reims

  6. Lynn Kriedemann

    Loving your commentary! Husband and I are walking the via francigena next year. Did via podiensis/camino de santiago le puy to santiago in 2015 and were bitten by the walking bug (we did cycle across the Meseta rather than walk… the first day or so it was wonderful be be off your feet, but by the end we were happy to get off the bike seat!) and may do a cycle leg for the via francigena too (probably from aosta to piacenza,,, to help us fit the whole distance in within our allocated break time.) . What are you planning next?

    • Thank you. I’m walking the 88 Temple pilgrimage in Japan next month. A cycle is a good way to make up time on the VF and that section might be reasonably level. Good luck with your planning

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