Categories
Practicalities Reflection

limits

So it seems I am coming to know my limits. After 15 days walking at around 20 km per day, my heels got so painful, really torturously painful, hobbling and grimacing the final few kilometres, that I will have the day off tomorrow to rest. I’ve iced and elevated and that really helped I am […]

Categories
Practicalities

maps – cartes – plans

My trusty local maps, published by the Institut National de l’Information Géographique et Forestière (IGN for short). They really have come into their own over the past two weeks. Not only are the Grandes Randonnées shown in big thick pink lines (French equivalent of big, long trails like the Pennine Way), but all the little […]

Categories
Practicalities

hard work

Today, I almost didn’t start at all. Motivation is never a problem on a ‘real’ pilgrimage; you have no choice but to walk to your next destination, especially if you have a time limit and need to reach your goal by a particular day, like the day your return flight is booked on… I suspected […]

Categories
Practicalities Reflection Where I've been

boredom

The start of today’s walk took me along a path already much travelled. I’ve already been through Droizelles four times (twice out and twice back). This time I was there so early, the dogs who usually bark at me when I have a little rest on the bench next to Saint-Déodat were still asleep! In […]

Categories
Daily Destination Practicalities

circles

Today was an extra short and easy day walk-wise. This afternoon I watched some really interesting talks on Brain Cognition Emotion and Music – a conference I would never have been able to participate in if it wasn’t for this pandemic and which I’m really grateful for. There were participants from South America, right across […]

Categories
Practicalities Reflection

random

It’s sometimes tricky to work out from the map whether a ‘chemin’ or a ‘sentier’ is accessible to members of the public. The Grande Randonnée routes are marked with a big thick pink line on my map, but they are rather limited and don’t allow for the kinds of circular routes I mostly need – […]

Categories
Daily Destination Practicalities Reflection

failing – échouer

Today I did not get to my planned destination. Sometimes on pilgrimage this happens. You take a bus. You catch a train. You have a day off. You’re forced to cut short your day because of pain or fatigue or illness and just crash in a hostel straight after lunch. You get lost and have […]

Categories
Practicalities

pain

I don’t find walking easy. It can be through beautiful countryside, it can be full of discovery, it can fill me with satisfaction and elation at the end of the day, I can feel a real sense of triumph. But that can be after hours of battling through physical discomfort. Walking long distance doesn’t only […]

Categories
Daily Destination Practicalities Where I've been

Walking back

Today my destination was the place I used to live, the place I moved to when I came to France, a house in a town which I lived in longer than any house I’d lived in since I was 10. Senlis is not on a train line (any more). It stays that way to avoid […]

Categories
Practicalities Reflection Where I've been

experiencing elation

Each pilgrimage has some. You feel full of joy. Everything just seems right; the sun, the flowers, the wind, the feel of the path, the cultural exposure, the animals you meet, the person who smiled, the grass you sat on…. Today had some of these things (beautiful varied paths, interesting places, lovely spot for lunch, […]