2018

Day 34 – oh la la, 32 degrees and the roads are melting

We have stayed in a lot of 2 star hotels so far. Some have been amusing. Being an old Camino pilgrim, I like the pilgrim accommodation best. Sometimes it, too, is dreadful. However, often the memories of these places long outlive the best hotels.

It’s always a relief to arrive at your hotel after a tiring flight or a long drive. But when you arrive after walking 42km with a heavy pack in the blazing sun in a state of near dehydration and you are met with such kindness and concern, then you are blessed indeed.

The sisters looked after us so well yesterday. Nothing was too much trouble and all this was provided without demanding payment. These are nuns who are supporting families of prisoners who are visiting their loved ones as well as we pilgrims. It is an enduring memory to take from this pilgrimage. Same for the psychiatric hospital.

It was also a joy to meet 2 other pilgrims and to be inspired by their endeavours. It is only by sleeping in pilgrim accommodation that you really stand any chance of meeting your fellow pilgrims, particularly on this route where pilgrims are scarce. The incredible Polish man who stayed with us yesterday was an inspiration to anyone. He is walking from his home to Compostela, 3500km, covering between 30 and 50km per day with only one arm. Just think about it.

We set off this morning after breakfast to face the hottest day so far, 32 degrees. Our plan was to complete yesterday’s plan. Initially we walked through shady woodland but eventually we were dumped onto bubbling tarmac and even worse rough gravel surfaces for the duration. In the village of Cirfontaines-en-Azois I met an English gentleman whom I had mistaken for another pilgrim. In fact he lived in a lovely large house with a beautiful garden. Due to an unfortunate sequence of events we had been invited into his garden by a colourful village character whom we assumed owned the house. So when we were discovered, our welcome did not extend to an invitation for a cup of tea.

We marched on. Eventually we reached Chateauvillain and collapsed into La Belle Époque hotel and restaurant after 24 gruelling kilometres. Rehydration started immediately in the bar and was followed by a good lunch. Over the next couple of days we will walk through empty France. The temperature is forecast to reach 36 and there are no facilities. We therefore visited the supermarket for provisions: sardines rolls, fruit. We will set off at sunrise tomorrow.

A pleasant enough start to the day

A really nice woodland walk

Tonight’s hotel in Chateauvillain. It’s owned by an English couple, Steve & Maggie.

About Tim

Pilgrim on the Via Francigena

10 comments on “Day 34 – oh la la, 32 degrees and the roads are melting

  1. Where are the Boris bikes when you need them…?

  2. Roger Clarkson

    No cats today then? Road was melting here on Thursday and gravel was sticking to my trainers.

    • I think the cats have more sense than to go out in this weather!

  3. Huguette

    Hi Tim we thought to you with this heat but don ‘ t be afraid you arrive in Bourgogne. For the deshydratation it s a good country 😉🍷🍷🍷

    • This is crazy weather so we must be careful of the 🍷 in Bourgogne

  4. Clairvaux – Châteauvillain is my plan for tomorrow. Now I am at the 3-sisters place together with the Canadien bike pilgrian. The sisters are really very nice and do everything for their guests!
    Take care!

    • I thought Clairvaux was one of the best stops so far. Are you in the Belle Époque in Chateauvillain?

      • Yes, I was there. And tonight at the Abbey-Guesthouse in Mormant. I think that I will pass the „forbidden“ path tomorrow too. I guess it is the entrance into the forest about one hour after the start in Mormant.

      • Good luck in that forest. Hope to see you along the way

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