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    • Day 23

      Stage 14: Bapaume to Péronne

      May 3 in France ⋅ ☀️ 50 °F

      My knee is much better and I hope to be back on the road tomorrow. Yay!

      Note my accommodations: how efficient to put the shower in the kitchen. 🙂🙂🙂 It looks like I have the place to myself.

      Péronne is probably the most frequently destroyed city in Europe. Several times in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and obliterated in WWI and WWII. Just about everything is less than 100 years old.

      At the Mairie a wonderful guide showed me the collection of local artifacts, most of them 2-3,000 years old.

      The Historial is a museum devoted to WWI.
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    • Day 24

      Stage 15: Péronne to Trefcon

      May 4 in France ⋅ ☁️ 48 °F

      My knee is fine now. 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻 I walked 10+ miles to Trefcon with no pain. Just fatigue. It took five hours, which is kind of slow. Better slow than never.

      The path was through a lot of little woods and through farmland. I took a wrong turn in the farmland and had to cut across some fields. It’s not like in the movies……it’s difficult!

      Near Trefcon, in the woods, I came across an abandoned cemetery. Kind of spooky. Did not dawdle.

      Trefcon is very tiny and I made the mistake of assuming I could buy food here. I’ll figure it out with the help of the gîte owner.
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    • Day 13

      Peronne 17 miles

      July 25 in France ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

      What a difference a day makes. Not raining - well it wasn’t when I set off and stayed pretty much dry all day. A breakfast - well a fairly poor French one but a heck of a lot better than none at all.

      So all going grand. Off I went but then I became aware of 3 slightly disturbing things. To begin with, to set the scene, most days I am walking from somewhere to somewhere with very little infrastructure in between. Certainly no food to be bought. So why is it that I never buy lunch as I set off? I know I am not the sharpest tool in the box sometimes, especially in the morning, but it really isn’t rocket science. Just because I am not hungry at 9.30am doesn’t mean I’m not going to get peckish by 1.30pm. Day after day. Quite incredible.

      The second thing was I realised that I was being followed. I was leaving town by a bit of a shortcut. Yesterday was a bit tough so I thought I would take advantage of a shortcut that I had identified from the map. I had done an extra mile yesterday so cutting a mile off today seemed justifiable. I haven’t seen any walkers let alone pilgrims so far so it did seem odd that these two gentlemen suddenly appeared behind me on this out of the way path. Both carrying pilgrim sized rucksacks. Just to be clear I mean large enough to last a pilgrimage rather than large enough to contain a pilgrim. Strangely unhappy about having them behind me. Luckily, I came upon a military cemetery. This is Somme country and they seem to be everywhere. As I frequently do, I spend some time in these and the lads had gone on ahead by the time I got going again. Never saw them again.

      The third thing had me thinking. I noticed that one of my “footprints”, as this app calls entries, has been liked by someone I don’t know. Now I am writing this thing partly as a memento which I will get printed when I finish and partly to keep friends and family informed as to what I’m getting up to. To make that easier for them I had to make it public so anyone can read it. But I never thought that anyone else would. Good grief it must be boring enough for someone who does know me, and bless you all for reading it, but I can’t imagine anyone else being bothered. It’s a strange world.

      Staying tonight in a sort of Youth Hostel. Strange definition of youth if it includes me. Still, I’m not complaining as it is only 30€ a night including breakfast. Got to use my own sleeping bag but that isn’t too onerous.
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