Thursday, June 24, 2010

Day 41. Old Fossils.

Did I mention that when we spent the afternoon yesterday with Alex and Mark and Cassie, they kindly treated me to an ice cream? Here is the evidence of me demolishing the evidence.

This area – Suisse Normande – is a bit of a revelation. I think we are not the only ones to be surprised to find such a hilly area this far north in France, not far from the Channel. The river Orne meanders famously, and as a result, so do the roads and tracks. This river, and its ancestors, have carved their way down through the rock for hundreds of millions of years to create this spectacular landscape. The cliffs which loom over Clėcy are the oldest exposed rocks on the planet. They find fossils here that otherwise we would not wot of.

I experienced some of the result of all this carving this morning. Almost straight out of the campsite I was confronted with a very steep road. Forunately, because, like most roads, it twisted and turned, I could not see the whole of it or I may have fainted on the spot. The climb, on this one road, was about 250 metres. At the top I was fairly steaming. When I set off it was fairly cool, so I had donned one of my excellent Columbia lightweight waterproof jackets. At the top of the hill I had to remove this because it was clinging wetly to me.

I was then walking along a ridge high above the long views of countryside which I could see in every direction.

Today’s walk to Thury-Harcourt was short and I actually arrived in the town before Gay, who was delayed by a haircut she had booked for 9 am in Clėcy (I had one yesterday). Because I knew she was not yet at the campsite, I installed myself at one of the many bars in Thury and proceeded to consume coffee until she turned up.

The campsite is quiet but reasonably busy. As is frequently the case, almost everybody else here is Dutch – they do like their caravanning, and their hilly areas, possibly because a speed bump would count as a mountain in their own country.

I covered 17 kms today, the shortest walk of the trip so far. I am enjoying these short ones in the knowledge that when we hit England on Monday, I will be straight into a week of 30 kms days. Distance to date is 1168.5 kms, climbs today 855 metres.

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