Saturday, May 15, 2010
Watching The Clock
It is said that Mussolini made the trains run on time. Vicini pulled into what was Mirepoix station, but is the campsite for our first stop, 4 minutes late, at 1334. I had given an estimate that, if I started VBW at 0800, I would arrive at the end of day 1’s walk at 1330. I didn’t know then that most of the well-wishers who turned up to see me off would walk with me for a kilometre or so, and that we would walk through the village, complete with Evelyn’s magnificent banner held before us by Gay and Ang.
That little perambulation undoubtedly added a few minutes, so I think the reputation of the …ini family as railway schedulers is still intact.
The walk through the village was a bit wasted really, because nobody was about. Even the bar was not yet open. We saw one old lady I didn’t recognise.
The pictures above, of the official start of Vic’s Big Walk, were kindly supplied by Ang, who retains the copyright. In addition to the small and hardy band who braved yet another cold morning, came the enterprising journalist Christian Morales, who will be placing a fascinating piece in the Independent and Mid Libre newspapers. There is already a story and pictures today in the rival newspaper Depeche du Midi.
Later, as I was legging it along the Voie Verte towards Mirepoix, I saw a runner coming towards me, going at a decent pace. I wondered what on earth he had on his head, but as he came nearer I realised it was a large black Catalan beret. I was surprised when he shouted “Good luck Vic, see you in August”. It was the redoubtable aforementioned Christian Morales.
Several people have said that one of the things that will happen during VBW is that I will meet new people, some of whom will become friends.. Of course I will. This week I have already met two journalists and a professional photographer. All excellent, friendly people.