Arrondissement de Chaumont

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    • Day 37

      Day 34 - Dolancourt to Clairvaux

      May 24, 2023 in France ⋅ ☀️ 14 °C

      OMG! What an amazing day! I rejoined the Path both literally and figuratively. Most of the walking was up and down what I think could be described as undulating hills. There were some serious ascents and decents. The highlight of which was the ascent up Chemin du Saint Germain (St. Germain's path) out of Bar sur Aube - which, by the way, is an incredibly beautiful city and somewhere I could spend a lot more time. I've done something to my right ankle! I'm just hoping that it will be fine in the morning. The day peaked, to be my best day here, when I got to Clairvaux. The Abbey here was founded by Saint Bernard in 1115, taken from the monks as part of the French Revolution, made a prison by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1808, I think, and is now a maximum security prison for 10, possibly less, prisoners (the guide wasn't 100% sure). It will close as such at the end of this year. For the very modest sum of €9.50, I got a guided tour of many of the old buildings (including one of the original restored medieval buildings), no photography allowed, with just one other person, a Dutch woman, in English! It made my day! The tour was supposed to end at 5:30, but we didn't finish until around 6 pm as we had so many questions. Like, did you know that until 1905 the law in France made it compulsory for everyone to attend church on Sunday and that capital punishment was not stopped until 1981 (the last execution was conducted in 1977)? Final observation: all vines in Champagne are planted on slopes. It must be a drainage thing.Read more

    • Day 40

      Day 37 - rest day (Villiers sur Suize)

      May 27, 2023 in France ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

      I'm having a very quiet day today. My left thigh mounted some sort of a protest yesterday morning, and so I'm resting both legs as much as possible. I'd had some serious misgivings about this location (off Path) and the hotel here. All of which have proven to be totally unfounded. The room is spacious and comfortable, the shower excellent (the place at Chateauvillain had no hot water), and my meal last night was delicious (breakfast was good, too). A gaggle of geese came up to the restaurant last night to be fed - it must be a regular thing - they made such a racket, it was very cute and hilarious. I've managed to book my accommodation up until my next rest day, and I've managed to stay on the Path with one minor exception - so I'm feeling pretty good about that. Oh, and the Roman bath here is the deepest one I've seen so far.Read more

    • Day 39

      Day 36 - Chateauvillain to Villiers sur

      May 26, 2023 in France ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

      A big day all around. Most of the walking was in or next to trees, interspersed with long stretches of walking in wide open spaces dominated by agriculture. I successfully navigated the 14.5 km without a map, assisted by the occasional way marker and my recently acquired digital map reading skills! I had a heart stopping encounter today; I was walking on a narrow, damp, wooded trail, and I saw an animal glowing in a patch of sun on the path ahead. Was it a cat? A cat without a tail? Then I saw the unmistakable swish of a tiny curly tail - it was a piglet! My first thought was, "Oh no, where's the mother," and I started to sing really loudly (a technique I picked up in the US to let bears know you are in the area so they can avoid you). It seemed to work as the piglet left the path. But no, when I got closer, it was just off the path with a second piglet. They seemed agitated, but I paused to take some photos all the while keeping an eye out for the mother. When I stepped forward, they ran off. Then I saw her, staring straight at me! I broke eye contact immediately (no pausing for a photo this time - that image is burnt into my brain). I got away as quickly, quietly, and calmly as I could, all the while scanning the area for any other pigs and looking back from time to time to make sure she hadn't decided to follow me. About 2 km further on, through some twists and turns and having seen my fourth deer (I saw my third yesterday, just outside of Clairvaux), I stopped on a, now, well-defined track to reflect on how rare an experience that was for someone like me. However, I don't want a repeat - that was the first time I have ever felt in any danger during my time here. Other things to report include seeing more remnants of France's Roman past and having an unfenced, unchained dog come at me (not a problem really, the tail was wagging so I knew I could ignore him). The box is a hunting post.Read more

    • Day 41

      Day 38 - Villiers sur Suize to Langres

      May 28, 2023 in France ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

      A short section of forest walking, a walk beside the Reservoir de la Mouche, and some long stretches of rural, dirt, roads (of various qualities) broke up a day of roadside walking on the "D", minor, roads. I saw what could have been a very large ferret run across the road ahead of me this morning and more evidence of France's Roman past. To get into Langres, you have to sharply decent 450m, and then climb the same! P.S. those bed warmers were in the breakfast room at the hotel in Villiers sur Suize. Oh, and I meant to add that I have just realised that I have passed my halfway point! My guidebook says that the walk to Grand Saint Bernard Pass is 1220.7 km, and I passed the 611 km mark before Lentilles. At Langres, I am 787 km from Canterbury and now have just 434 km to go!Read more

    • Day 38

      Day 35 - Clairvaux to Chateauvillain

      May 25, 2023 in France ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

      Another beautiful sunny day with a lot of climbing and only a little coming down. I think the Roman 'style' bathhouse actually was one as I have come across a few more; one at Baroville yesterday (all barred up, no access), two at Cirfontaine-en-Azois (another very small place with a large name), one at Aizanville (the prettiest: photo included), and one just out side of Marmesse (the cleanest and therfore the most tempting: photo included). When I got to Orges, the map for the last 5.5 km of my walk would not load in the VF app (I still can't get it to load)! I wasted a lot of time and phone charge trying to fix it, eventually gave up and relied on the way markers and my map reading skills to get me to Chateauvillain. I'll have to do the same tomorrow. Tonight, I have a genuine complaint: the only accommodation I could get was an apartment. "Ok," I think, I'll make good use of the washing machine - there isn't one! And, to add insult to injury, there is no hot water! Last note: that man on the bike is the only person I saw, and spoke to on the path today.Read more

    • Day 38

      Bon courage !

      May 21, 2023 in France ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

      Guten Morgen aus dem Zelt, das im Augenblick noch in einem winzigen Urwald zwischen den Dörfern Blaise und Champcourt steht.
      Zwar hat sich die Landschaft hinter Joinville im Vergleich zu der zuvor durchwanderten nur geringfügig verändert -die Hügel sind ein wenig steiler- und auch der Weg besteht nach wie vor überwiegend aus Asphalt, doch bin ich hier wieder Menschen begegnet, die sich für mehr zu interessieren scheinen, als für ihre Traktoren und Wachhunde. Gleich mehrmals kamen sie gestern auf mich zu, wünschten 'Buen camino' oder 'Bon courage' und suchten den Smalltalk. Da wird dem Fremden warm ums Herz!
      Außerdem wurden schöne Oasen für den Wanderer angelegt, wie z.B. ein reaktiviertes Waschhaus in Leschères-sur-le-Blaiseron, wo kristallklares Wasser durch einen Pool strömt und zu einem Bad einlädt. Explizit für Menschen, Hunde dürfen hier nicht hinein. Was hätte ich letzter Tage noch für so eine Waschgelegenheit gegeben!
      An der Kirche Notre Dame d' Étourvy fand ich außerdem einen funktionierenden Trinkwasserhahn und bekam endlich mal wieder einen Pilgerstempel. Nur die Dame des Hauses ist...naja sagen wir mal von zweifelhafter Schönheit. Und irgendwie machte es auf mich den Eindruck, als würde sie dem Betrachter...was ihr Sohn wohl auch noch lustig findet! Aber seht selbst.
      Read more

    • Day 63

      Von Autun über Langres nach Goncourt

      April 17 in France ⋅ ☁️ 6 °C

      Auf dem Weg nach Autun hat uns ein junger Franzose im Lieferwagen auf einer schmalen Straße unseren linken Außenspiegel abgefahren.
      Was für eine ....!
      Er hatte angehalten, aber letztendlich haben wir ihn ohne Adresse/Versicherung fahren lassen. Vermutlich läuft es Aussage gegen Aussage und jeder muss seinen eigenen Schaden zahlen.
      Also sparen wir den Ärger und zahlen unseren Schaden gleich allein.
      Mittagspause und Gassi in Autun, Durchfahrt Lengres und Schlafplatz in Goncourt.
      Wieder zwei Städtchen für die Bucketlist!
      Read more

    • Day 4

      Nogent ÜP mit Weihnachtsmarkt 🍷🍷

      December 17, 2023 in France ⋅ ☀️ 6 °C

      Die Strecke bis hierher führte über kleine Dörfer. Wir schlengelten uns durch die Gassen. In vielen Dörfern standen die Ortsschilder Kopf...🧐 warum nur?
      Ortseingangsschilder auf den Kopf gestellt: Die Bewegung erreicht die Landschaft der Normandie. Junglandwirte prangern die widersprüchlichen Auflagen an, die ihnen bei ihrer Tätigkeit auferlegt werden.
      Okay, nun sind wir schlauer.
      Wir erreichen Nogent. Guter Stellplatz.
      Im Ort ist ein schöner Weihnachtsmarkt. Wir genießen einen leckeren 😋 Glühwein und schauen dem Treiben zu. Nach nem Ortskontrollgang geht es wieder ins Womo...aufwärmen, essen kochen...Abend, Ende, aus...
      Nee, es gibt noch ein Feuerwerk 🎆 🤣🤣
      Read more

    • Day 1–2

      Goncourt Stellplatz

      December 27, 2023 in France ⋅ ☁️ 7 °C

      Südlich von Luxemburg und hinter dem Großraum Metz fuhren wir über Straßen, die wir schon von unserer letzten Reise kannten. Eine breite gut ausgebaute Bundesstraße schneidet sich dort zwischen Alleebäumen durch das Ackerland, dass bis fast bis Nancy reicht. Die Fahrt über die Umgehungsstraße der Stadt war unproblematisch und wir erreichten gegen 17:00 Uhr unser Quartier für die Nacht. Bereits im letzten Jahr standen wir in Goncourt direkt am kleine Fluss Meuse.Read more

    • Day 28

      Leffonds 0 miles

      August 9, 2023 in France ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

      Not a good day.

      At all.

      Woke this morning, opened my eyes and turned my head. The room appeared to move from side to side and back, continuously. Very dizzy. Felt very squeamish. Managed to stand and make the 2 steps to the basin for some retching. Made it back to bed. Repeated every now and again. After what seemed like ages the room stopped moving as long as I kept my head perfectly still. This continued for 3 or 4 hours. Walking completely out of the question.

      Eventually seemed to get better. Left me quite light-headed and weak.
      Was able to get a doctor’s appointment who thought it was an inner ear or cervical spine issue. She didn’t seem too concerned. Gave me some medicine to take if it happens again. As well as taking me to the doctors my hostess gave me a lift to my next accommodation. I think she was quite keen to pass me on and free up my room. She did charge for the lift which is not unreasonable. I was a bit of an inconvenience all day.

      I am now in a cute wee caravan in a corner of a massive garden. Also in the garden are a couple of horses and loads of chickens. I was very controlled over a 4 course pilgrim’s dinner as still quite delicate. Hoping that a long sleep will make everything fine for tomorrow’s walk.

      On the plus side I think my feet quite enjoyed a day in bed.
      Read more

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    Arrondissement de Chaumont

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