Sunday 7 September
We rose deliberately early in order to leave for 8 am again. This was partly in order to arrive at our destination earlier / more resting hours in the afternoon, but also in order to walk more in the cooler hours of the day. We imagined long ago that we would need to do this, and the time has now come ( late in the day in our trip, but nevertheless … ). The weather has been constantly very hot for the last 10 days or so. Lovely for sitting around doing nothing, but too hot for walking and generating ones own heat at the same time.
We walked road together, and then forest. I decided to brave the ‘ tracks’ with the bike in order to stay with Tony. I do quite like his company. It was a gamble, as tracks in forests can mean shaded areas with bogs where I have come very (un)stuck before now i.e. mud gets stuck under rear mudguard and stops the rear wheel from rotating - not good. Fortunately only minimal dirt stuck to the tyre today so didn't cause friction. There were some deep tractor tracks to contend with though where much heaving was needed.
After a good hour of forest work ( and some rather impressive compass and map work undertaken by Tony due to GR signs being hidden from view ), we exited the forest and moved to open field farm tracks, and then onto small country roads. This is all so familiar to us now.
We were heading for a campsite this Sunday evening, our last night under canvass of the trip. I was getting slightly sentimental about the impending event. The town was another walled medieval town called Pesmes ( pronounced ‘pem’ ). We were both jiggered by time we arrived in the late afternoon, but knew that if we went straight to the campsite that we wouldn't take / make time later to visit the town itself. We wandered the empty ( nothing new ) streets and visited the church. Pesmes was indeed rather a jewel of frenchness - a fortified town on a hill above a river.
We entered the campsite grounds, and both of our eyes fell upon the static chalets. Ooh - we wonder if they have any of them available !? Yes, they did indeed, so we ‘ upgraded ‘ from tent to chalet. It was the end of another long day, and my sentimentality regarding camping had gone out of the window - stand upright, and not have to be tidy inside a small tent it was then !
Distance - 17.50 miles
Distance since Helmsley - 971.85 miles ( will we make 1000 before the trip is over ??? )