Tuesday 9 September.
Mark and Xavier left at 8am for their long trek to Tergnier. We took photographs of each other before they headed out. They were staying at a hotel tonight that Danielle had recommended and it was only €38 for the room. Before we left an hour later I got the details from Danielle about the hotel and we will get the campsite tonight to phone and making a booking for us. For breakfast it was again coffee, bread and jam but we felt fairly refreshed and ready for the road. The gite cost us €40 and Moira added €5 for the food we used from the basket. I don't think if this pilgrimage takes off there will be many people happy to pay so much for a Spanish style albergue.
It was an easy day today, all on tar along minor roads. There was just one village to pass through, Etreillers, after 5.5km. We sat on the wall at the church there and had a rest for 10 minutes. This church was open and there were gardeners out pruning the rose bushes and weeding. We went inside and the windows were quite colourful but not depicting anything, though on either end of the altar there were impressive rose windows. One unusual feature was a grotto built in one corner with an altar inside, but no indication of what it signified. When we started off again there was a pleasant 'au revoir' from the gardeners.
The route used by Cicerone next was more direct, on a road that wasn't very busy. The 'official' way did a loop through a series of villages before joining up at the River Somme. One of the villages was Roupy, over to our left as we made our way on the long straight D32. The book made a point to look out for the church in the village with its open work spire, typical of many in the area. We did notice and it looked like it was full of holes. We crossed a major road in the outskirts of Roupy then it was another long straight road for 4km to Seraucourt-le-Grand.
Coming into our 'village for the night' we crossed the Canal de Saint Quentin, that we will eventually walk along for some distance tomorrow. Then the road took us over the River Somme into the town. This is the area where many were killed in WW1. As we we entered the town there was a small supermarket where Moira bought some bread and fruit for lunch, she also got a couple of cans of lager. The campsite, 'Camping du Vivier aux Carpes', was in the centre of Seraucourt-le-Grand and we were soon registered and in our little cabin. It was beside a lake and the campsite was very nice and busy with a lot of GB caravans. It was especially popular with fishermen as there wasn't any fee to fish in the lake or the river.
We had lunch then went to the toilet block to shower. Later in the afternoon we walked through the village, there wasn't much to see and the church was closed. The supermarket had opened again after lunch and there we got something for dinner. Back at the cabin we sat out on the stoop and enjoyed the view over the lake. On the other side there were donkeys grazing on the grass and a few goats prancing about. A very pleasant setting. The woman in reception contacted the hotel in Tergnier where the Swiss guys were staying but it was full for tomorrow, instead we got a room above an Indian restaurant that Danielle at Trefcon had also recommended.
For dinner we had a vegetable curry, the first proper big meal we have had for a few days. There was WiFi available free on the campsite but the signal wasn't very good, certainly not good enough to listen to the radio via the Internet. Instead we read until bedtime.