Wednesday 24 September.
I was awake at the usual time of 6am and I made us a cup of coffee. Breakfast wasn't until 8:30 am and we weren't walking a great distance today so there was no rush to get up and get ready. I worked on my blog and got it posted then downloaded the newspaper and caught up with the news, I also had the radio on, so we were being well informed today. Before going down to the restaurant I wrote up the route for today in my note book.
The restaurant was actual closed today and Maggie was having the day off. Steve served our breakfast, croissants, fruit buns and bread, he was a bit stingy with the coffee only one cup. We asked if he would phone the Youth Hostel in Langres for accommodation for tomorrow night but he said his French was adequate for serving at the bar but he wasn't confident about phoning. We chatted and got his life story, he left Dumfries when very young when his family emigrated to California and about his life there but didn't reach when he ended up here in France.
It was nearly 9:30am when we eventually got going and the sun was a bit higher than when we started out yesterday so it wasn't so cold. The sky was blue and it looked like it would be a good day. We left the town through the Parc aux Daims, a large deer park and wooded area leading to an Equestrian Centre. From there it was onto a forest road at the Ferme des Bonshommes which had been originally a pilgrim hostel. The road was the Chemin des Bonshommes and it was like the Roman Road, ran as straight as a die through the trees. If there were any deer or other wildlife about we didn't see them. We didn't see any humans either which was surprising as such a beautiful route and track like this normally attracts lots of walkers, cyclists and joggers.
When I was writing out the route this morning I had concerns about some aspects. There were so many variations and options you could take and at times the writer seemed to have got them mixed up. It was the case in practice as well, when we reached an old ruined farm house, Maison Forestiere we and already walked 6km. It then said to walk another 4km to Maison Forestiere, which we thought must be a village named after the old farmhouse. The track seemed then to go on for ever with just trees on either side and all the way in front. Eventually we came to a cross roads and on the other side a shaded picnic area, this was 3km further on from Maison Forestiere on according to our guide. It was confusing but we were happy we were another 3km further on than expected and celebrated with a cup of coffee seated at a picnic table.
While having our break we could hear traffic somewhere nearby but we weren't due to reached the busy N10 for another 3km. This was the next surprise, we got to it after about 500m. But now there was more confusion, the route instructions said to turn left but the accompanying map showed to go right. We decided to follow the written guide and after a short distance on the busy road turned onto another forest track. It was about 2km before we reached a minor road which took us to Mormant. Further on we stopped at a side road and had our lunch, there were still some hard boiled eggs left and bread and cheese. I didn't have a lot of water so the coffee was 'au lait'. The road where we sat was the forest track we would have picked up if we and followed the map and turned right at the N10.
Mormant was a little hamlet with a few houses and a couple of farms. We found the house we were staying at, No14 Rue de l'Abbaye, but there was nobody at home. We found a couple of chairs and sat outside to wait for somebody to arrive. After half an hour we heard a noise from inside and I knocked hard on the door. I woman came to the door she had been sleeping. It turned out we weren't staying in this house but another one down the lane. It was lovely and we had a big room with a double and two single beds. I had a shower first and felt a lot better afterwards. Downstairs was a big kitchen and Moira cooked the piece of chicken she has been carrying around in her bag for two days. We were having dinner here so the chicken will do for lunch tomorrow. The woman Mne Michelot was another very nice and helpful person and phoned the Cathedral in Langres about accommodation for tomorrow. They have two beds somewhere near to the Cathedral and we are safely booked in.
We sat in the large lounge dining room downstairs in comfortable cushioned cane chairs until dinner time. Mne. Michelot arrived just before 7pm opened a bottle of wine filled our glasses then prepared our meal. It was another simple but lovely meal. Homemade pâté and bread to start; a vegetable mixture with rice and two fried eggs, unusual but very nice: Camembert for the cheese course; stewed apples to finish. Mne. M left is to it and when she returned was surprised and pleased to see we had done all the washing up. Before leaving us again she showed us details of a route when we leave tomorrow that goes direct to Marac on a forest track without the dogleg via the road to Leffonds. This should save about 2km on what is to be a long day.
After saying good night we finished off the wine and read for a while before getting up to bed. It was very comfortable and quiet out in the country and we were soon sound asleep.