If you’re following my blog in the hope of something interesting finally happening, I’m sorry to disappoint you again. Where are the fabulous characters who dropped into my Via Podiensis from start to finish last year? Or the happy people who travelled with me on the Camino Frances in 2016? Well stick with it, we just have to cross the rest of France and Switzerland and then, I’m hopeful the fun will start.
I’m sitting in the only bar in Corbeny and it’s also our hotel. The Madame is impersonating someone who has drank the bar dry and France have just kicked off against Peru. The whole population of Corbeny is crowded into the bar (5 men). I accidentally ordered 33cl of some crazily strong beer and with my battery down to 11% I think this will be a short blog.
Upstairs, Paul is trying to shower. I went first and all I can remember is that the water is hot and wet, as is the tiny bathroom and most of the bedroom. There was only one towel, presumably Madame, in her intoxicated state, thought No 2 would abandon trying to shower. Also, we have entrusted every item of stinking clothing we possess to Madame and her washing machine. If everything survives I’ll eat my clean hat.
There is no 3G signal here and Madame told me the WiFi code is “say day day”. Sadly she is incapable of writing it down but she did draw the magic password in the air. Anyway I figured it out but now the battery is down to 8%, same as the beer.
We actually had a pleasant walk today over the hills of Picardy, picking the cherries hanging from every wayside tree and photographing the poppies. We cut across farm tracks marked “Chemin private” and followed little streams gurgling through the pastures. We stopped in a village called Bruyeres et Montberault (2 villages) and I inspected the sophisticated coffee machine behind the bar. I ordered a cappuccino but it tasted like a British Rail coffee from the 1970s. But we had more luck next door in the boulangerie. I asked for “sandwich” Young mademoiselle immediately suggested “poulet” so with that as a starting point she gradually assembled our lunch baguette and when she suggested mayonnaise I said “non” to avoid the whole thing turning into egg mayo by mistake. It was as good as anything you’d buy in Pret and we had plenty of good fruit too.
Tomorrow we hope to reach Reims. We don’t know the walking distance but it is somewhere near the upper end of my range. And we have not booked any accommodation so we plan to “wing it”.
We approach the Madeleine woods this morning
A nice day’s walk
A field of wheat
In the middle of nowhere
Our hotel in Corbeny tonight