Monday, August 11, 2008


In vague terms, we want to walk from Puivert to Brittany, say Caen, then ferry to Portsmouth, then walk Portsmouth to Blackpool. In France, that is a shorter trip for us than it is to one of the Channel ports. In UK, it is more pleasant to walk (or drive) up the West side of the country than the East, which would of course mean negotiating London.

For the French leg, the intention was to walk down the Grandes Randonnees, walking trails which criss-cross France. We had the maps out the other night and were delighted to see that the GR36 runs all the way from Caen to near Carcassonne. A connecting GR runs through Puivert.

But then we got down to distances and were dismayed to see that by walking down the GRs, the distance in France would be 1600 kms, compared to about 800-900 kms by road. Not only would it be a lot further (because the GRs wiggle about a lot) but it would be too far to do in the time I have set (70 days, symbolically, for the whole trip). So it's back to the roads. Quiet ones, I hope.

This is another reason for thinking that the Puivert-Blackpool direction would be best. Otherwise I would be walking the roads at their busiest time of the year. Which would also be the hottest time of year.

So the plan now seems to be to leave Puivert in early May, to arrive in Blackpool on 23rd July 2010

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