Deux Rivières

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    • Day 44

      Wie Gott in Frankreich

      May 27, 2023 in France ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

      Guten Morgen aus dem Dschungel am Westufer des Flusses Cure, wo ich zwischen den Orten Accolay und Arcy-sur-Cure mein Lager aufgeschlagen habe. Gestern wanderte ich bei strahlendem Sonnenschein weiter durch die Weinberge, bis Chablis schließlich außer Sichtweite war. Als ich in Saint-Cyr-les-Colons im grellen Licht auf den Dorfplatz taumelte, sah mich ein Einheimischer, der -aus Richtung der Kirche kommend- geradewegs auf mich zu steuerte. Ob ich vorhätte, mir die Kirche von innen anzuschauen? "Euuuuh, oui, Monsieur ...pourqoui pas...". Und da gab er mir auch schon zu verstehen, ihm zu folgen. Er schloss extra für mich die Kirche auf; ich solle mir alle Zeit nehmen, die ich brauche und anschließend die Tür wieder hinter mir zuziehen. "Bon courage !" Ein echter Glücksfall, denn innen war es nicht nur herrlich kühl und leise, es gab auch allerlei Schönes und Kurioses zu entdecken.
      In Cravant gönnte ich mir auf einem pilgerfreundlichen Campingplatz Eiscreme und traf dort auf die allerersten Pilger, die ebenfalls mit dem Zelt unterwegs sind. Man wird sich auf dem langen Weg bis zu den Pyrenäen vermutlich noch häufiger begegnen. Da es für mich allerdings noch nicht an der Zeit war, Feierabend zu machen, zog ich erst einmal weiter. In Accolay kam ich an einem weiteren Campingplatz vorbei, den ich aber ebenfalls verschmähte. Stattdessen steuerte ich eine Frischwasserquelle im Wald an, die ich auf der Karte entdeckt hatte und schließlich auch fand. Ein weiterer Glücksfall für den Landstreicher, denn eine Quelle am Lagerplatz sichert nicht nur die Trinkwasserversorgung, sie ist ihm zugleich Dusche und Kühlschrank.
      Gleich mache ich mich auf zum Wallfahrtsort Vézelay.
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    • Day 52

      Sunday in Vermenton

      October 8, 2023 in France ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

      Today was our first full day in this beautiful little town. So how did we spend the first morning ? Mostly sleeping.

      After the non stop schedule of the past 7 weeks, it was a strange feeling to have absolutely no imperative to do anything. Well there was one thing we had to do - get food and provisions.

      We all slept in until the ungodly hour of around 8 am, and then slowly emerged from our rooms. The night was wonderfully peaceful and quiet, and the cool night air coming in our bedroom window allowed us to sleep deeply.

      Without any food, breakfast was skipped. Instead we all formed a walking peloton and walked (strolled) to the supermarket. I had been expecting it to be small and limited in range. I was wrong. It was huge and well stocked, causing our eyes to bulge with greed.

      About 30 minutes later we were staggering back to the Moulinot with bulging grocery bags. At least we would not be missing out on lunch.

      The other important task was to tackle the mountain of dirty laundry which was steadily taking over my luggage. The little washing machine did its best to convert this into a more respectable state, and the warm weather also played its part in helping to get the washing dry.
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    • Day 73

      67. Etappe: Accolay

      September 13, 2018 in France ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

      Fast hätte ich heute ausschließlich Fotos vom Canal du Nivernais zur Auswahl gehabt, wenn da nicht die letzten 3 km gewesen wären. Denn die boten etwas Abwechslung, es ging bergauf, durch ein kleines Wäldchen und schließlich bergab übers Feld nach Accolay, meinem heutigen Übernachtungsort.
      Zwischendurch lieferte ich mir ein packendes Rennen mit einem Boot, das ich dank der vielen Schleusen mehrmals überholen konnte. Aber auch der fleißigste Pilger muss einmal rasten und so gab ich mich mit Platz 2 zufrieden. Ansonsten begegneten mir viele Radfahrer und Angler, aber leider keine Pilger. Ich hoffe auf morgen, denn dann komme ich im großen Knotenpunkt Vezelay an.
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    • Day 54

      Round Two in the Brasserie Bout

      October 10, 2023 in France ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

      Life in a rural French village takes on a simple cadence. Nothing happens in a hurry. Each slow day is punctuated by the twice daily walk to the boulangerie to collect the baguette(s) for the day's meals. Every time you pass another person on the street, you must greet them with the customary "Bonjour". The passing of each hour is acknowledged by the chiming of the church bell. All around you, the process of decay is working inexorably to ensure that all the buildings are steadily working their way towards inevitable oblivion. This does not seem to worry anyone one bit.

      Yesterday we decided to embrace another village custom by visiting the local brasserie (bar) to enjoy a cup of coffee. It turned out to be an interesting, but not very pleasant experience. The guy behind the bar would rate as the most unfriendly Frenchman I have ever had the misfortune to meet. When we tried to order our drinks, we were met by a grunt and a shake of the head. It was very obvious that we were not welcome.

      But today was a brand new day. We decided to give the guy another chance to redeem himself. Equipped with our very best smiles, Maggie and I entered the bar and ordered one hot chocolate and one coffee. It couldn't be simpler. Our order was met with another grunt. Not a promising sign.

      He turned his back and fiddled with the machine, eventually handing me a half filled cup of tepid "hot" chocolate. There was about as much drink as would fill a small egg cup. It was not a good start. Maggie fared a little better, getting about 3/4 of a cup of coffee.

      I looked around the room and noticed that he had some chocolate croissants in a basket. Thinking that it might cheer him up if I added to my purchase I timidly asked for a "Pain chocolate, s'il vous plait". He looked at me in disgust and grunted, (I am not joking, that was exactly what he did).
      I repeated my request, only to be met by an even ruder grunt. If I was going to get my chocolate croissant, I would have to get it myself. So that is what I did. I walked across the room and picked one out of his basket.

      When I sat down outside to drink the diminutive hot chocolate and eat the croissant, I realised that I had made yet another mistake - the croissant was dry and stale. It did help me reach another decision. For the remainder of our time in Vermenton, I would never enter that terrible place again.

      Fortunately, there is another Cafe in the town, so that is where we will go tomorrow.

      Later in the day Maggie and I enjoyed another lovely walk alongside the river and through the Patrice Gay Boulodrome. The afternoon sun made the walk quite warm, and we were glad when we reached the comparative coolness of the millhouse.
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    • Day 53

      Hot Times in a French Village

      October 9, 2023 in France ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

      When we arrived in the little village of Vermenton on Saturday, we had no idea what the place was like. We even got a little lost on the walk from the station to Le Moulinot, so that we found ourselves in the grounds of another mill house. To our horror that one was completely derelict. I know that sometimes photos can be flattering, but this was ridiculous.

      Fortunately we realised our mistake and managed to locate the correct place. Now, after just two nights in our lodging, the place is really starting to feel familiar. We can navigate to the two most important places in the town (the supermarket and the even more important boulangerie), without getting lost at all.

      We awoke to another perfectly clear morning. Although the night had been cool, the forecast was for a quite hot day, with a top temperature of nearly 30C. After breakfast, we walked back to the boulangerie for cakes and baguettes. We also noticed that the brasserie was open. That was reason for some excitement.

      When we were staying in Caumont four years ago, a simple highlight of each day was an early morning walk, followed by a coffee and pain chocolate in the village square. We thought we could repeat this routine here.

      Unfortunately the reception we received as we walked into the door of the brasserie was decidedly cool. Icy in fact. We struggled to order our drinks, but this only seemed to exasperate the proprietor. He scribbled down something on a piece of paper, then screwed it up and threw it aside in disgust.

      When the drinks arrived, they were actually quite good, but the poor attitude of the owner had spoilt the moment. It was really quite an uncomfortable place to be, and we decided that we probably would not be returning there any time soon.

      The remainder of the day was spent resting and exploring the walking paths near the mill house. This is an exceptionally beautiful location, although a lot of the infrastructure is in need of major repairs. Not far from the house is a complex of 24 petanque courts. Unfortunately, they were all in a very poor state of repair.

      I guess the problem of maintenance in a country which must have hundreds of thousands of buildings and other structures over 200 years old, is never ending.
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    • Day 56

      High Tea in the Borgogne

      October 12, 2023 in France ⋅ ☁️ 21 °C

      With our time in Vermenton steadily drawing to a close, the ladies were keen to add a bit of class to our dining. Somehow, they came up with the idea of conducting a "High Tea", complete with scones and cream, cakes, sandwiches and a white table cloth.

      During the morning a team was delegated to walk to the supermarket and boulangerie for supplies, and then Maggie and Andrea set about creating something special.

      By the middle of the afternoon, the spread was ready. The table was set (they even improvised the traditional multi level plate). Then we sat outside in the warm sunshine and enjoyed a little taste of culture.

      Tomorrow will be our last full day in Vermenton, before we pack our bags and catch the train to Paris. That really will mark the final stage of our epic adventure.
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    • Day 40

      The Last Leg

      June 12, 2019 in France ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

      Our final day on The Tub was the easiest and not just because we know what we're doing. We only had one lock to get through on the Canal du Nivernais before turning onto an 'embranchment' canal towards Vermenton. This last canal was quiet and peaceful, back to the sounds of lapping water and birds which we'd been missing on the busier Nivernais canal and River Yonne.

      We tied up at Accolay and gathered all remaining food supplies from the cupboards to cobble together a lunch of sorts. It was hardly a gastronomic delight but it was very colourful and almost all food groups were represented.

      It was then only a short pootle to the port at Vermenton in the afternoon where we demonstrated our excellent Tub driving skills and nailed a perfect parallel park in an almost-not-quite-big-enough space on our first attempt. Pity there wasn't anyone there to act as an independent witness ... you'll just have to trust our account of the event.

      We've loved every aspect of our Tub experience. Sure, we may have preferred to not have had the occasional rain storm or the rather chilly weather but the rain only dampened the deck, not our enjoyment of the adventure. Bonus, we earned an honourary scout badge (self-awarded) for rope tying 😀😀

      After packing up and leaving The Tub in a very clean state, with a few new rub marks and gashes on the bumpers, we dragged our bags around the corner to the train station.

      Next stop: Paris
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    • Day 11

      Day 11: Chablis - Accolay

      August 23, 2016 in France ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

      Distance: 26KM (257.7/1742.3)
      Weather: 33C hothothot
      Mood: Hot but happy and a little fatigued.
      Blisters: 3

      Things that make me happy
      - spotting wildlife (red squirrels, baby deer, otters)
      - dragonflies, following me as if they are playing tag
      - a cyclist who stops to offer me water
      - free wine and dinner from fellow campers
      - footpaths in Little icy cold streams
      - free local pastry from the boulangerie
      - Reading before bedtime all snug in my tiny tent
      - Meeting fellow pilgrims

      Things that make me not so happy
      - Blisters
      - Rain
      - Uneven gravel roads (see pic)
      - Closed boulangeries (but you knew that already)
      - Barley being able to walk when I swop my shoes for flip-flops
      - inaccurate directions

      Life of a pilgrim is simple...
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Deux Rivières, Deux Rivieres, Краван, Crebannum, 克拉旺

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