Saturday, 16 August 2014

A kettle is a must !

Saturday 9 August

We had stayed at a Gite for travellers at Trefcon the night before - a cow barn on a farm that had been converted to a self-catering unit that could house 15 or so people.  We were alone in there which was good.  We hung the inner tent to air and outer tent to dry over the banister ( from when we had camped in Perrone and had packed it up wet ).  

We cooked using the luxury of gas oven and dined on another one pot meal, our signature dish now. We both slept like logs.

The next morning the bread lady arrived at our Gite / Farm just as we were leaving - perfect timing so that we could purchase our now very much looked forward to sticky / choclatey croissants for our mid morning snack.  These bread vans are quite common in small rural villages ( we have seen and used a few now ) you know, the ones with no shops at all.  So now we know how inhabitants of these rural villages who don’t drive get their food ( well, bread at least ).

Today was to be a long road walking day again.  We started early in order to finish early.  We were finishing the walking day at Tergnier, but our accommodation was at Saint Quentin, a 20 minute train journey from Tergnier.  Plan was that I be alongside Tony until lunchtime, and then would cycle directly to Saint Quentin and get to the ( much longed for ) laundrette.

We lunched at a town that had a canal and benches alongside.  Here we heard and saw our first Brits Abroad.  The landscape was becoming slightly more rolling and varied ( woods, valleys, canals ) indicating that we were getting into holidaying territory.  
Tony and I parted company, and I headed for Saint Quentin.  Tony finished his 20 mile walk at around 3 pm ( early finish as planned - hoorah ! ), and headed for the station at Tergnier to hop onto a train.  Nope - not possible for another 3 hours !   So, in this ‘ one horse town’  Tony entertained himself by drinking much needed coffee in a very rundown and neglected bar until the train time.    

I, in the meantime, had been to the laundrette where I had had some very difficult ( and no doubt comical to any non-participating observer of which there were thankfully none ) conversations in french with locals in order to establish how to get powder for the machine, make the machine work, and make the dryer work ( eg. non, j’ai dit pas fermer la porte ! ).   I had done a food shop, and had checked into our Ibis Budget ( yes, more budget than standard Ibis ! ) Hotel.  We were staying here 2 nights in order to have Sunday as rest day.  

One thing that was missing in our Ibis hotel room was a kettle.  I asked if reception had one that we could use, but no.  We couldn't bear the idea of not having our cups of tea, or indeed of not having our favourite porridge for breakfast for the next 2 days, so I headed out on the travel kettle hunt.  After much supermarket staff eye-brow raising, and mmmmm-ing when asked if they sold ‘ travel kettles’ ( the French simply don’t get tea ! ) I finally found a regular sized kettle of suitable Euro cost and took it back to our room.  Tea + porridge here we come …..

Tony finally arrived at Saint Quentin just before 7 pm, and we had salad and things for our meal, and of course cups of tea.  An early night was had by both.

Distance - 19 miles
Distance since Helmsley - 689.85 miles

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