Monday, July 6, 2009

The Voice Of Ignorance

"You should be walking on this side, you fool!" said the English cyclist, once he was safely out of range. This after seeing me giving one of my best French gestures to the motorists who had just almost brushed my shoulder.

"What?" said the woman who was cycling with him.

"He was throwing up his hands in despair at the traffic! But he was on the wrong side of the road". So spake the voice of ignorance.

As I have said before, it is not always sensible to walk in the recommended position, facing the oncoming traffic. That rule is written by civil servants who have probably never walked a country road in their lives.

I was walking along the road from Chalabre to Puivert, the last 9 kms of my 32 kms walk from Mirepoix this morning. This road has a number of blind left hand turns. To walk on the left at these points would be suicide. The choice when meeting an oncoming car suddenly appearing round the bend would be to leap 15 feet in the air or to accept death. To cross to the other side of the road gives a better view and also gives a grass verge to step on to (the inside of a curve normally has a ditch and frequently a stone wall or vertical bank).

And, as it happens, Mr Know-All, I was actually walking on the grass when you saw me. That's why I was so appalled that I was still in danger, despite my precautions.

1 comment:

Leone said...

walking such distances would give you the advantage on knowing where to walk and when!

Keep walking my friend and ignore the "know-all's".