Saturday, 20 September 2014


Friday 19 September.


The first thing I did this morning was to download the newspaper, there was good WiFi here, to get the Referendum result. The 'Noes' won, so there will be no major changes, we will now have to see if the politicians keep their promises about greater powers to the Scottish Government.


There had been some snoring during the night, from the Swiss pair, that wakened us but it didn't last long and we slept all right. The family and the rest of us were all up and about just after 7 am. The breakfast was the usual, bread and jam with either tea or coffee. We tried the tea but I can now understand why tea hasn't taken off in France, it was weak and tasteless. We resorted to the coffee which they do well. The grandchildren were also up but the little boy had a fever and wasn't going to nursery with his sister. We were packed and ready to go but before leaving I tried to post my latest blog, There was a problem not with the WiFi but with one of the photographs I had inserted, it didn't like it and wouldn't continue. I gave up and will try another day when we get Internet again.



The Swiss pair left before us after a photo session with Monique then it was our turn. We both took a few of each other and in groups then it was time to leave. Before going we left a donation, Monique was asked by the AIVF through the Mairies in the area requesting assistance for pilgrims. So we were being put up en famille together with a warm and friendly reception. After a while Monique started to accept donations. The Songys don't run a gite but have agreed to help pilgrims in an area with little accommodation and who are being accepted into their family as a valued guest, a very important distinction. Monique then gave us a donation towards Pancreatic Cancer UK and put a €10 note in the collection box.

After leaving Coole it was a short walk on tar before we took a gravel track towards the woods, Foret de Vauhalaise. We could see our companions of the walk up ahead and followed them. As we came into the woods there was a confusing cross-cross of paths and we weren't sure which to take. We picked right as after a worrying few minutes we spotted the Swiss up in front on the same path. This was the Voie Romaine again but no sign or indication that it was such an ancient monument. It continued to be perfectly straight but undulated through the fields for about 7 km to the village of Humbeauville. We caught up with Jacques and Gerard there, they had stopped to talk to a couple who were busy painting the windows of their house. These French can't half 'rabbit' once they get going !


We all stopped at the church on the main street for our mid-morning break. They sat on some gravestones in the church yard and had their sandwiches while we parked ourselves against the wall outside where I brewed up some tea. We sat there for half an hour, it was pleasantly warm and relaxing in the peace and quiet. But it was soon time to go again with 2 km on the road to the next village of Le Meix-Tiercelin. This little place had two sets of traffic lights one at each end of the village but as Moira pointed out they were basically to restrict speeding; if you are going too fast they turn red and stop you.


After leaving Le Meix-Tiercelin we picked up the Roman Road again for 7 km to our finish in Corbiell. Once again straight but now with some long steep hills but with nothing much of note to see. Underfoot it was a bit uncomfortable with lots of loose pebbles. My back was beginning to play up again and I had to keep adjusting the straps on my pack. We stopped for a rest about halfway and I got to the finish without any serious aches or pains.


We were staying in a room in the Mairie in Corbiell, Monique had phoned and made the arrangements. It was easy to find as it was a very small village with one street. Jacques and Gerard were there and had claimed two of the three beds. There was a mattress and Moira said she was happy with that, so I got a bed as well. The beds were actually camp beds so the mattress was probably more comfortable. I made a cup of tea heating the water in the microwave that was there while Moira made sandwiches. We went outside to a picnic table and ate there. There weren't any showers so we will have to go dirty for a day.

I stretched out on the bed and had a snooze, the other two did the same and had a good snore. A guy arrived at 2:30pm, we got a 'bonjour' then he spoke to J & G for about half an hour discussing the map of the next town we come to. Later we asked G for the map to photograph and he told us that the pilgrim accommodation in Brienne-le-Chateau, the next place, was closed (according to our visitor). We got our various lists of accommodations out and G phoned one of the hotels there. After a lengthy discussion he got two rooms at the Hotel des Voyageurs for tomorrow night. All done and dusted without a lot of arguing.


According to Cicerone there was supposed to be a cafe in the village. We walked from one end me to the other, not very far but there was nothing. It wasn't as if there had been one at the time of writing the guide and it was now closed. There just wasn't anything that in any way resembled a shop or cafe or pub.


The chap who came earlier returned about 7pm laden with food. There was ready made meals just to be heated in the microwave. Moira and I shared a roast chicken and mashed potatoes and a veal and rice. There were all right. There was also pâté, cheese and plenty of bread, apples and bananas. Over and above the obligatory bottles of wine, a

very nice red. While the other two chatted away for about half an hour with the guy we got stick in, we were starving.


Language is a funny thing. The guy had brought a stamp with him for our credentials. While the others were gossiping away with him Moira stamped our cards. Before leaving the guy then wanted to stamp our cards, but could we make him understand that we had done it ourselves. Moira showed him the credentials all stamped. He looked in amazement and couldn't figure out how this was possible. He left scratching his head still trying to puzzle it out.


After dinner we spent about and hour reading and I attempted the crossword in the paper I downloaded this morning, not successfully. We were all in bed shortly after 9pm and lights out soon after. As I predicted the camp beds weren't very comfortable and I think Moira got the best deal.



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