Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Day 40. Douillet, d’Ouilly and Dooley, all jolie.

I have now spent 40 days and 40 nights wandering in the wilderness, and am wondering when the wisdom and wonderful insights will arrive. Maybe, because of inflation, I will have to wait until I have completed the full 70. One month today.

It was a short walk today, only 17.5 kms, although some of it was rather testing. This is where Gay’s savagery with the navigational axe is paying off. And a day off which had crept into the schedule unannounced has also been sacrificed. We decided it was best to keep moving and to shorten some of the other days instead. I have walked 1151.5 kms since leaving home and there will be five more walking days until we hit the ferry on Sunday.

Today’s walk took me first to Pont d’Ouilly, obviously a very canoey place, where I took this colourful picture of the boats waiting for their customers. Pont d’Ouilly was my only coffee stop today and I was rather hoping to meet Alex and Mark there. Alex is from Manchester, Mark from Blackpool. Alex e-mailed me yesterday, having just discovered my blog, about which she said complimentary things. She also said they lived near Pont d’Ouilly, and could I let her know when I was coming through, so we could meet for a coffee, and that she would also be donating to Pancreatic Cancer UK. I e-mailed back to say that I would be passing through this very morn. However, we had failed to make telephonic contact before I had scoffed my bun and coffee. No sooner was I a couple of kilometres up the road than my phone rang and it was Alex. I said I would get hold of Gay about maybe meeting up at Clėcy, which is where we are now and for tonight.

A bit further on I was musing about Pont d’Ouilly – d’Ouilly – Dooley? You may remember that the koala made a break for it in Douillet-le-Joly, thinking this is where it would be reunited with Ang Dooley, who donated the koala to us as a mascot. So here we were again, at another place named after her. This reminds me of Alexander the Great, who went round the world conquering, plundering and founding cities named after him. As far as I know, Ang does not conquer or plunder, but is there no getting away from the woman? But who would want to? I was thinking about all this nonsense, thinking I might enter it on my blog, when the phone rang. It was Ang! It seemed that when I rang Alex (above) and left a message on her answer machine, asking her to contact Gay in order to arrange a meeting place, I had inadvertently phoned Ang. Anyway, all’s well that ends well. Ang and Paul are on their way to England, where we hope to meet them in Winchester – and Gay has successfully arranged a meeting this afternoon with Alex and Mark.

Clėcy is another place with lots of canoes, lots of cafés overlooking the river, lots of groups of kids being shepherded about to be involved in activities of both water and rock, and lots of sunshine. Yes, it has been another sunny day. I think that makes three on the trot. It’s a bit unnerving. Our friend Rod in Reading tells us that southern England is desperately in need of rain. Don’t worry, Rod, I’m sure we can fix that.


p.s. We had a very nice, relaxing afternoon with Alex, Mark and their daughter Cassie. As Lorenzo told us long ago, we will make new friends during this trip. How right you were, Lorenzo.

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