Training in France

Decided to motor down to France for a bit of a break and to do some practice for the Camino. Target for today was Gramat, a typical French town about 9k from our house, easy peasy. We set off at 10:30am with a view to having lunch in Gramat at around 12:00 noon. The journey went well, mainly due to us living on a hill! On the final leg coming into the town Deb noticed a fork in the road and suggested we come back via this route. Hmm. We arrived in pretty good time only to find Monday is closing day for Gramat (who organised this day?). We circumnavigated the town looking for somewhere to eat. Eventually we found a cafe/bar and managed to find a table for two in between every other person who had been roaming the town in search of fair. After a good meal we set off to get some food for the evening meal. Luckily the supermarket hadn’t heard of the Monday curfew. We purchased our goods including two bottles of Malbec. We only intended to buy one for 4.95 euros but it was buy one get one free. Can’t wait to taste them when we get home!? Off we set heavily laden with wine, potatoes and a few other weighty objects. Route B home was going well until we reached a fork at which point I said “I think we need to go right” I accompanied this with several logical reasons to support my decision. Deb said she thought we should go left. We went left. After a kilometre the anticipated Tarmac road had not materialised. Instead we were walking on a grass track and a short distance further the track bit disappeared and our way ahead blocked by a gate. Deb took the opportunity to have an al fresco wee while I battled with holding back the inevitable phrase “I told you so”! We could see our road in the distance across two fields so over the gate we went for a bit of trespass. Now, what looked like a nice field full of spring flowers had been transformed with recent rains into an ankle deep foot bath of about two acres. We spished our way across, I’m sure we’ll laugh about it once everything dries out. We finally made it to the other side but were thwarted from our goal by a three metre wide stream sans ponte! Hmmm. We looked up and down and noticed in the distance what we hoped would be a bridge. We were half right, it was half a bridge connected to a tree stump by a piece of dead branch.

I’m sure the survivors will laugh about this. Backpacks removed I ventured onto the pole and made a precarious stumble and grab for the safety of a rusty handrail. Deb followed with slightly more grace and we donned our backpacks and resumed our journey home feeling quietly smug but a little damp of foot. Of course we had to pay the price for our outward journey so it was uphill all the way from here.

Only 3km to go but all up hill.

Made it! Now for a couple of well earned beers.

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