Daily Archives: 3 September 2009

Travel despatch 4

I haven’t exactly managed a daily post as we walked through the Loire Valley: points d’internet aren’t exactly common and those I have found, when they functioned at all, have had keyboards that drive me crazy. But here I am in beautiful Orléans, having now walked for 20+ kilometres four days in a row, with just one day to go. I’m sore of foot but it’s been fabulous. There have been mysteries, such as the siren that blared out at midday in one village, or the row of adult-sized high chairs made from tree branches, ten metres apart, along the side of a ploughed field (the latter probably something to do with hunting). There have been sublime moments, such as hearing the monks of Fleury sing Vespers at the magnificent church in St-Benoit. And horrible moments, as in the same St-Benoit where neither of the two restaurants was open the night we were there. We’ve got lost, but then been given directions by a kind boulangère. We’ve had wonderful meals, ranging from the one we scraped together that night to any number of lovely restaurant meals. We’ve had a salade avec grésiers, which tasted great, but looked like gobs of flesh that might crawl off their bed of lettuce any second.  The company who organised it for us, Sentiers de France, have done a lovely job, and the French system of walking paths is meticulously mapped.

I’m off to bed for an early rise to croissants, hot chocolate and a long walk.