Sunday, June 6, 2010

Day Twenty Three. Incidents and Accidents

At last a bit of camouflage. We are at la Roche-Posay. There are so many geriatrics here that nobody will notice me. It is a spa town, full of hotels and apartments which cater, as the spa does, to people taking the waters, which is something which happens on the national health service in France. There are also plenty of restaurants so I think I will take ma honey out tonight.

I didn’t walk to la Roche-Posay. My 32 kms for today finished in Pleumartin – a small town with a massive central square – but this is the nearest campsite. I arrived there via sightings of a pine marten, a hare, a hoopoe (I think) and a big snake (dead). Also via a couple or three accidents.

First, I accidentally bought two pain aux raisins at the boulangerie in la Puye. Of course I had to eat them while I was cowering from a thunder and lightning storm in a café.

Next, as I got up to leave said café, I dropped my Satmap Active 10 GPS device on the floor and it split into pieces. This could have been a disaster of major proportions because I am totally reliant on the Active 10 to find my way each day, after Gay has slaved over the maps the day before. I carry the maps with me as back-up but I am not sure what good they would be because I can’t see the tracks, even with a magnifying glass (I carry one with me). Fortunately, the Satmap device lived – it was just the replaceable (if you scratch it) screen which had voluntarily removed itself, and I was able to put it back in position without calling the AA.

The third accident was one of navigation. I was walking down an impressively straight road for kilometre after kilometre. I was transfixed by this, and fascinated by the many houses which had signs outside like those pictured. I was wondering if this all had to do with the Acadians who went to Canada and then to Louisiana (where they became the Cajuns, who have donated their food and their music to the world). Then I realised that I had not looked at my Satmap for some time. I had gone nearly 4 kms beyond a point where my route should have taken me north-east instead of the north-west I was travelling.

But the Satmap came to my rescue, by showing me a cross-country route, more or less due east, which intercepted the planned journey without me having to completely retrace my steps. Nevertheless, all this no doubt added 2 or 3 unnecessary kms to my necessary journey.

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