Sunday 31 August
We arrived back at our hotel in Brienne le Chateaux the night before ( where Napoleon was stationed for 5 years you know ! ) after a very enjoyable and eventful 8 days in the UK ( hence lack of blog entries recently ). I had left the bike and panniers at the establishment with the permission of the owners. It was a great relief not to have to take bike + related gear to the UK. I only had a small day rucksack for the journey home - it was so strange to have my hands free.
We were pleasantly surprised that the patisserie round the corner was open on this Sunday morning, first day back. We purchased our usual and headed off. We only had approx 10 miles to travel to our destination village of Jessains today - a deliberate plan in order to break ourselves back gently into the truly physical days that are this trip.
Landscape was slightly rolling, with intermittent forests. Our pace was leisurely, and we revelled at the fact that we arrived at our campsite destination before 3 pm.
We were staying at the Jessains Municipal campsite. It was basically a toilet + dish wash area block with rain cover section at front and a strip of land ( appropriately flat ) alongside. It was on the outskirts of this small and picturesque village. The campsite caretaker welcomed us. He said that he lived in the ( only ) caravan on site, but I don't believe him - think he just stays there when they know people are camping etc.
This caretaker was surprisingly popular with the local 13 - 15 year old boys. They arrived on their scooters ( high pitched motors etc ) and parked up outside the toilet block. There must have been 6 or 7 of them all chatting with a very animated ( and presumably hip ) 50-something man.
We snoozed in the tent ( only the 2nd time that we have done this in all our camping stays, and not very effectively due to the intermittent scooter motors), made our broccoli and cheese pasta dishes for tea ( thank you uk and Bachelors ! ), and watched a film on’t laptop before officially ending the day.
Distance - 10.5 miles
Distance since Helmsley - 846.35 miles