Monday, May 24, 2010
Today I walked from Marty, near Vers, to beyond Montfaucon. 33.5 kms, which means that I have walked 328 kms so far, in the first ten days of VBW.
I had a bit of trouble with my navigation at first. I am entirely dependent on the Satmap Active 10. Gay works out the course on maps, then I feed it into the Active 10. All I have to do then is follow the course as it appears on the device. Well, the course was in there when I started off, but the other ingredient for successful navigation was missing. We were so deep in the gorge of the River Lot, with huge battlement-like cliffs on either side, that the device could not “acquire” enough satellites to give me a fix, I walked for over 8 kms before the device suddenly locked on and knew where we were.
It was very rural, some track, some roads. The first town I came to, or, as I see it, the first coffee, was La Bastide Murat, after about 23 kms. Gay had already paused here to check out a bar for me, then texted me of its whereabouts. I duly went there, had a coffee, while thrusting a VBW card at each English voice I heard. Resultant chat with one couple finished with them giving me a small donation for Pancreatic Cancer research. This was in cash, but fortunately PCUK have provided me with a purple collecting container, so it will go in there. Maybe I should walk along with this.
I walked on to Montfaucon, where Gay was waiting. The plan was that if I felt OK by this point – about 28 kms – I would walk on a while to take a chunk out of tomorrow’s walk. I felt fine, so after another coffee, and again depositing my rucksack with Gay, I did another five and a half kms to the agreed meeting point. Gay will drive me back there in the morning to start the next stage. I’m not sure she would have picked this particular spot if she had realised just how narrow the lanes were just there, but fortunately, today there was no contradictory traffic.
I haven't mentioned the climbing since the very hard day when I climbed one and a half Ben Nevises, but every day I climb at least one Ben Nevis, or, if I don't manage that, at least a Helvellyn or a Snowdon.